Clouds and rain in the desert

A cloud gathers, the rain falls, men live; the cloud disperses without rain, and men and animals die. In the deserts of southern Arabia there is no rhythm of the seasons, no rise and fall of sap, but empty wastes where only the changing temperature marks the passage of the years. It is a bitter, desiccated land which knows nothing of gentleness or ease…..No man can live this life and emerge unchanged. He will carry, however faint, the imprint of the desert, the brand which marks the nomad; and he will have within him the yearning to return, weak or insistent according to his nature. For this cruel land can cast a spell which no temperate clime can match.

-Wilfred Thesiger, Arabian Sands

The wind kicks up, the palm fronds rustle, the dust blows. And the rain falls. It didn’t come too much today, just a bit more than a drizzle. But it was enough to wash off the dust and brighten the sands with the color of moisture. 

The air will be clean for the next few days—maybe even a week. We will be able to look into Dubai from our campus and pick out the Burj Khalifa. 

It was good. We needed the rain, something that other Emirates witness but Sharjah somehow misses.   It still is good. The air is fresh and the clouds hang low.