Friday, August 7, 2009


I know that things are off in my world if I have the desire to dye my hair a dramatic color or I miss Arizona. Today, I miss Arizona. Tucson, to be specific.

I was driving the boys home from the Sprayground, which is, as one would suspect, a playground with sprinklers. I think it's okay. Joel is partial to the chain-link fence. Owen, I imagine, will wish for his ashes to be scattered there ninety years from now.

Anyway, as I was driving home, the roads, as always, were surrounded on either side by a verdant phalanx of forest. Thick forest. Smothering forest. As I drove, I imagined the future, when the trees would grow over the man-made road and the vines would twist around the streetlights. Nature would claim what had been taken.

Just possibly, I was in a dark mood. But truly, the trees felt oppressive, claustrophobic. My Western soul needed some breathing space.

It needed big sky, and mountains, and saguaros. These are my forests.

August in Maryland is muggy. August in Tucson is unbearably hot, but it is also the monsoon season. The sky becomes dark. The clouds rumble, part, and pelt down violent, noisy rain. Sometimes, when God is feeling especially show-offy, the heavens preen and pose like this:

The air smells fresh, like creosote and new beginnings.

This, this, is what I miss.


Anonymous said...

I love the way the air smells after it rains. Mom

Coby Goesling said...

For a brief shining moment, that made me miss Tucson! Beautifully described!

Being in ABQ, I've still got tons of open space and, while we don't get the spectacular monsoons, summer temps. rarely get above 98. After five years in NM, I find myself dying of heat exhaustion at 90 degrees!

Nancy Campbell said...

OH, I don't miss that heat. Just the smell after a monsoon. And the mountains. Maryland has great water, but it's as flat as me, post-pregnancy/nursing. (That's pretty darn flat).

Corrie Howe said...

Nancy, I hear you! Half my life was spent in the deserts of California, Texas and Arizona.

There is a beauty in the open plains, the way the sunlight and moonlight reflect off the sands.

My favorite thing about the desert are the heat lightning storms which can be seen miles away.