By Ella Kirk
The rain, outside my window, overflows the gutter and splashes into a clump of feather grass. The juniper seems to stretch it's foliage to the gray sky to receive the rain drops that fall. I can practically feel the roots pushing into the wet humus. The air smells rich, like wet moss by a gushing stream.
This is what the desert waits for. All year long, the plants patiently stand through the sparse rains and quaking heat of New Mexico. When winter comes, they absorb the moisture of snow and sleet, but it is not till the monsoons come that the real life springs from the Earth.
In New Mexico, once the monsoons come in early July, we can experience almost daily showers. Often, you see a little stratus cloud in the early morning and by 4 o'clock a massive castle-like, steel-gray thunderhead looms over the sky and cracks open like an eggshell with a boom of thunder, and the rains come streaking down. Monsoons are the times when the grasses are vibrant, when the flowers bloom in their most vivid colors and in the dewy mornings, bird-song is prevalent. From July-September (if it's a good year), the desert of New Mexico gets a wonderful dousing of living things' most revered resource: water.
But what happens to most of that water? We so value that short time when moisture graces us, but a lot of our rain water runs down the streets. If you saw the corner of Yankie Street and Bullard Street in Silver City on the week we had those huge...