Heavy skies here in Vegas, and the wind has been ferocious. I had no idea there was so much weather in the desert. By now, I thought I’d be begging for a cloud.

“I can’t wait for summer,” I said, and the lady cutting my hair shushed me as if I were summoning a demon. She gave me a long talk about hydration while she snipped away. Not just plenty of water, she said, but also salads and cucumbers, and you should never go outside in daylight. By the time she finished, I was convinced a cup of coffee in July would send me to the emergency room.

“I love the summer,” said the man next to me. “Especially the nights.”
“Because it gets cooler?”
“Because it’s hot and dark.”

Among all U.S. states, church attendance is lowest in Nevada. But I think this is where I’ll really learn to pray. The other day C. and I went to a zen temple behind a strip mall for a beginner’s meditation session. We removed our shoes and stepped inside to find a dozen bald elderly people in red robes chanting in Burmese. We edged backward out of the room and quietly closed the door.

The wind is still howling, but the cold is finally gone. Forty-mile-per-hour gusts out of the southwest spill over the Spring Mountains after soaking California with another atmospheric river and a collapsed bank.