I took the youngest kiddo out to the Salt River today to see the result of the water releases from Granite Reef Dam. We saw hummingbirds, bees, cormorants, and burrowing owls. And water, lots of water.
Warning: This isn’t one of my typical feel-good posts. I debated not posting it at all, to be honest, because it seems so different from my usual message of “Be true to yourself and just keep moving forward.”
That’s not to say this post is irrelevant. It’s very relevant to me and others who share similar experiences. It’s a part of who I am as much as the happy-go-lucky stuff is.
I need to share this. Why? Well, because it’s something that… Well, let’s just say it’s eating at me.
You don’t have to taste the water to know why this river is called Salt. You can feel the soft film of it on your skin. You can smell it in the soil as it beats against the shore. I always leave this place dirty, but never dissatisfied.
Welcome to the holidays in the desert, where the trees change color in December, the ground is as dry as a cow skull against a cactus, and the temperature doesn’t get much lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit on any given night. This is my favorite time of year. I am from a colder climate, and even though I’ve lived in Arizona most of my life, there’s just something about stepping out into cooler weather that lifts my soul. I live for communion with nature! It is a part of my spirit that I cannot deny. So, on the winter solstice this year, I found myself with a few extra hours alone, and decided that instead of doing laundry and sitting in front of the television, I was going to make good use of it.
Yesterday my family spent the morning at a place that was hot, dusty, crowded, and smelled of animal dung. We LOVED it. Why, on this green earth, do you ask, would anyone ever love a place like that? Well, to put it frankly, we aren’t wusses, and we also have a soft spot for our local zoo. The Phoenix Zoo is not for the faint of heart, I won’t lie to you there. From the months of April to November, it is hot in Phoenix. The zoo is lush and leafy, so there is some relief there, but nothing can shield you from the cruel desert sun. NOTHING! I have come away with sunburns on many occasions, despite my best efforts. I should note, however, that I am whiter than a stripe on a skunk’s tail. But I’m getting sidetracked…