Rain Promise
March 1994

Winter is the dry season in Oaxaca... early spring brings the hot sun, but yet no rain to settle the orange dusty haze. There is an eagerness for moisture as this time of hot dry dormancy draws to a close...

Today the sun was so full and heavy that I lay and sweat in the hammock hung under my shaded porch. And beyond the oasis of shadow the earth baked under the sky fire and dry leaves crackled.

It is high dry season in Oaxaca and the air is hazy with dust, smoke from field fires and the vapor of all the remaining drops of water being boiled free from the earth, leaves, and us poor sweating souls. March - March of the suns daily march across the sky, of cracked lips and a jug of water a week, March of dust across the hills, of dust on my table, in my dishes, and on my pillow. March when I give up sweeping 'cause there's no point - I'll sweep again in April when the rains splater and pin the soil back in it's place - out there, not in here. March of crunchy salads. March of screaming magenta and royal purple bouganvilla and the showers of soft purple flowers raining down and painting the road as I swing down to the Zocalo under the rows of Jacaranda trees. March when the early morning air tastes of oak, manzanita and arroyo and is cool like a forest brook and the tall dusky clouds explode into the most sensual pinks and oranges, the sky beyond green like a tropical sea. March of sun and sweat and dusty breezes when my spirit flies out among the gorgeous muscled and parched hills naked before the great deep sky.

And this baked afternoon wind whipped up dust funnels and scattered papers around the house, and the tall afternoon clouds that loiter around the mountains became dark and broad and rust bellied as they reflected the burning earth below - and then the wind calmed to a breeze and brought with it from the west where the sun was diving the coolest and sweetest of all airs. Somewhere out there, beyond that hill, perhaps down in the western valley beyond Atzompa and Ixtlahuaca, perhaps on the edge of the pine mountains that fade into the perpetually thirsty hills of the Mixteca land - somewhere out there to the west among the cane and cornstalks a rain was falling, sucking up the hot earth, steaming on the dark stones and floating vapors again into the sky - and a dusk breeze carried it's flavor and breath across the hills feeding us all with the luscious meal of full rich air, a cool evening and deeper down, the knowledge that water will come again, the hills will bloom, and there will, again, be corn and squash.


Traditions Mexico Tours
Talk to Us