50The Image and the Experience

All of us have had the experience of a sudden joy that came when nothing in the world had forewarned us of its coming—a joy so thrilling that if it was born of misery we remembered even the misery with tenderness.

—Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I confess that I do like some seasons better than others, and that summer is my second least favorite time of the year. There is, however, one wondrous thing about summer in this beautiful desert: the monsoon thunderstorms. When a particularly powerful one arrives I make an effort to be outside to greet it. I love the big chunky drops pounding on leaves, rocks, and windshields; I love the intoxicating scent of wet earth and sagebrush and pine; and I love the spectacular lightshows ...

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