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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Does it Rain in Arizona?

Parish the Thought: Actual rain tomorrow?

The good Father apparently doesn't believe that it rains in Arizona.

I have this to say:

A woman named Adoro was sent from Blogger.
She came for testimony, to testify to the rain,
so that all might believe through her that there is rain in Arizona.
She was not the rain, but came to testify to the rain.

And this is the testimony of Adoro.

When the Priest from Carefree Arizona commented on his blog and asked, “Does it rain in the desert of Arizona?”

Adoro did not deny it, but admitted, “It does rain in Arizona.”

So he asked her, “What are you then? Are you a psychic from Sedona?”

And she said, (quite indignantly) “I am not.”

“Are you a crazed prophet?”

She answered, “No.”

So the Priest said to her, “Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who hope for rain? What do you have to say for yourself?”

Adoro said: “I am the voice of one lost Minnesotan climber, accompanied by a man from Georgia, crying out in the desert, ‘make obvious the trail from the summit!,’”

Some naysayers were also sent. They asked her, “Why then do you say there is rain
if you are not a shaman, a crazed Sedona psychic, or a weatherman?”

Adoro answered them, “I saw the rain come; but there are other kinds, in other seasons, that you do not recognize, the kind that is coming after me, in which I am not worthy to stand, even with an umbrella.”

This happened at the peak of Camelback in Scottsdale, where Adoro and her friend/co-worker Matthew were climbing and trying to get photos of a sunset that never came; for the evening went from dry and cloudy to a severe storm with lightning as a flash of blood.


Lest the good Father think I'm kidding: I'd been in Arizona for two weeks in September that year, for training, but didn't get a chance to climb Camelback. I was sent back again in October that year for another two weeks (first half of the month), and decided with some friends on a Thursday afternoon to climb Camelback Mountain. Matt had a camera, Adoro did not...she'd run out of film.

It was cloudy, but we hoped for the best, and climbed that bad camel to the best of our ability. We reached the top just when the gust front hit, and Matt quickly took his photos (which ultimately didn't turn out anyway.) Then there came a clap of thunder in a sudden darkness of the cloud that overcame the summit, and the few people stupid enough not to watch the weather dove off the peak to every side. Matt and I headed down...I lead and missed the trail. We spotted it thanks to other climbers (by watching them), followed it, and then were drenched in the dowpour that came a few thunderclaps and lightning-strikes later.

I will NEVER forget climbing down that desert mountain in a river of red dirt, sliding down the slippery rocks, and remaining suspended between two of them, a hand on either side, cringing, as lightning struck the peak only feet above us. I was blinded by the fire from the clouds, still trying to move further down.

While behind us, a couple with proper climbing shoes (obviously native Arizonans who knew the poorly-marked trail) impatiently were held up, and bypassed us as we went off into an unmapped ravine. Not even so much as a "Hey, idiots, you're off the trail!"

The rain stopped, we found our way, and when we got back to the hotel where our company had placed our group, we went to the bar for as much water (really!) as we could drink. Our clothing was dry, our backsides matched the mountain, and we bore the scrapes that can only come from close encounters with various cacti.

The bartender asked us where we'd been. By then, the News was on, and with shaking hands we silently pointed to the screen, as it showed images of red-colored lightning striking the peak and just below the peak of Camelback Mountain.

At the time, even for a desert, Arizona had been experiencing a drought; and because of our apparently physical offering of ourselves, the good people of Arizona (excepting the rude climbers who would have let us die - several people per year actually die on Camelback), got to experience water from Heaven.

Dear Father Pelletier, believe you me, it rains in Arizona. I just pray, for your sake, that you aren't at the top of one of your local mountains when it does!

And so I, Adoro, testify to the rain that you might believe and be converted. (And lobby for a properly-marked path for the benefit of Arizona-loving "tourists" who are not looking for God in the storm but prefer the still small voice.)


Lillian Marie said...

Oh - that brings back so many memories!

One of my ex-boyfriends & I hiked (off trail) in South Mountain Park - amazing sights! We went up Camelback - however, I was too winded to get up all the way. I think we finally got up 2/3 of the way - I couldn't feel my legs any more.

And yes, it RAINS(!!!) in Arizona! Boy does it rain. They call it 'Monsoon Season' for a reason...

Adoro said...

LM ~ LOL! I've posted a version of this story before, but it was fun to parody scripture. (Am I going to Hell for that?!)

I was there a couple years later with a friend on vacation for a few days, and we wanted to go horseback riding at South Mountain, but didn't have the time. On that occasion we climbed Squaw Peak, right before it was re-named.

There was a guy in my class the first time I was in AZ that took our weekend break and went camping in the Superstition mountains. I admired his ability to just throw stuff together and go. He welcomed me to go with him when he was talking about it (not in a gross way...he was more of a father-figure than anything and meant it in that way), but as I'm not a camper and dreaded scorpions, spiders, etc....well, didn't even THINK about going there!

It was beautiful from the top of Camelback, but the climb is very challenging. I was in good shape at the would kill me now.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

LOL! Rain in Arizona, must be like rain in Ca, it rains so little you don't even notice it...(except right now when I'm up at 2 in the morning typing this)

J.Samuel Ross. said...

LOL! That parody is genius.