It’s Gratituesday! Today I’m grateful to have stepped outside two nights ago and felt actual cool air. I know in most parts of the world that’s a normal occurrence. In the Phoenix area it only happens for about five months of the year. After the summer’s onslaught of daily blast-furnace heat followed by evenings of sweltering baking, a cool breeze in the evening amazes and soothes.
When the cooler weather arrives, a morning walk could happen without a bottle of water as a basic survival tool. The cobwebs get cleared off the front porch swing and long evening chats can happen again.
There’s a lighter quality to the oxygen in the air, a weight of oppression lifting. Hope returns that once again the park will fill up with people playing games of capture the flag, soccer practices, tag, frisbee and lacrosse.
In a few days the air will begin to fill with the October smells of overseeding for winter lawns. Steer manure is the seed cover of choice around the valley. Things smell like a million head cattle drive moving through for a few weeks. But after a brief spell of that malodorous scent on the breeze, grasses will green up in a riot of brilliant color. Flowers will burst out in a song of relief. Kids break out of their air-conditioned confines and populate the neighborhoods once more.
The idea of a walk in the moonlight no longer oppresses but instead sounds delightful and romantic.
With cooler air that blue hue in the sky just feels lovely instead of boring and repetitive.
To be honest with you, a few weeks ago I thought about moving. The idea of leaving this wretched heat played with my heartstrings in spite of the people attached to them. Now that the coolness, at least evening coolness, has arrived, I think I can stay.
I’m pretty sure, in spite of the portent of milder weather and loveliness ahead, that deserts weren’t intended for human habitation. And yet, we as a species continue to insist on living in them. Why do you think that is?
Is it like the mountain thing? We climb it because it’s there? We live here because we can? Do we always have to pick up the gauntlet when it’s thrown down at our feet? Could we just pick something in-between-ish for a change?
Or is that giving in to something, fence-sitting somehow?
I haven’t figured it out yet. I’m still not sure why I’m here after all these years later. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad I’ve been here. Mostly. What an incredible sixteen year ride it’s been.
Still I wonder how I’ve managed to get through that many summers. And why I continue to stay.
If I had the choice would I go?
Depends on if the breeze blowing through my cropped hair was a warm one or a cool one.