Hot, so hot. The sun was like a member of the family, unyielding and exacting. We planned our days by its moods.
Whether or not the temperature was below 100 degrees determined if we left the house or not. The heat was a presence, a heavy blanket that sat upon our skin, sucking the moisture out. The taste of it seared my lungs as I breathed it in, boiling my insides.
Tender feet grew leathery and calloused, a layer of protection against hot sand and cement patio outside the house. The hours of the day moved slowly, time passing languidly through a heavy sludge of heat.
When the sky opened up and the rains came, the land was transformed. Heat lifted from the cracked desert floor in clouds of steam that hung silently over the earth. Our dry throats were suddenly whetted with the moisture the storm infused into the air.
Heavy, dark clouds moved across the sky and obscured the sun, banishing it, if only for a day. Thunder cracked, echoing against the distant hills, and lightning flashed, as if the storm sought to demonstrate its dominion over the sun.
In the little house on the hill, there was relief. Motion was born again. Feet splashed in murky brown puddles filled with warm rain water, and small, grubby hands clapped in the falling rain. Squeals were released from parched throats so long closed up from the dry heat.
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