In meteorology, virga is an observable streak or shaft of precipitation that falls from a cloud but evaporates or sublimes before reaching the ground. If you are lucky this happens at sunset and the setting sun reflects off the virga making red rain. Truly, I think I may be in the most beautiful place in the world.
To the Desert
By Benjamin Alire Sáenz
I came to you one rainless August night.
You taught me how to live without the rain.
You are thirst and thirst is all I know.
You are sand, wind, sun, and burning sky,
The hottest blue. You blow a breeze and brand
Your breath into my mouth. You reach—then bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
You wrap your name tight around my ribs
And keep me warm. I was born for you.
Above, below, by you, by you surrounded.
I wake to you at dawn. Never break your
Knot. Reach, rise, blow, Sálvame, mi dios,
Trágame, mi tierra. Salva, traga, Break me,
I am bread. I will be the water for your thirst.
Last week I had a wonderful sunset walk with my daughters, and we watched in wonder and awe as the colors changed all around and up above us. Then the apricots, and pinks, and reds grayed, and finally turned from blue to dark. Our spell was broken. Miriam, my 6 year old broke the silence. She said “if I were the sun, I would do this every night.”
We are on the far side of the summer solstice now, and I am struck by how much the sunset has moved up from last week to this. Here are last night’s colors after the color works as they started to grey.
I took a portrait workshop from Judith Carducci once, and she told us that if we could capture the shape of the shadow on the face we would find a likeness. Moving targets are tricky to capture, but I tried Judith’s method with the highlights on Micah…the top of his hat, his neck, down one arm, and his other elbow, the back of both legs…and there he was. Neat trick.
Micah likes to balance his way on top of things and through life. It is fun to watch.