The sun had already risen, but the trail had meandered down into a fold of the land and I found myself again in a pre-sunrise situation. The foreground wasn’t actually this dark, but with the brightness of the sky above the horizon, the area closer to me was darkened and made for a nice silhouette image. That’s one of the trail-signs to the left of the juniper tree…a common and reassuring symbol that I was exactly where I was supposed to have been at 7:45 on a Sunday morning….
Unless it’s a particularly windy day, this is a common sight during my morning walks in the desert area of north Phoenix.
before the rains the desert smells like dust and rock
sometimes an unknown metal rides the glands of nose and mouth with searching
and after they come it is sweet with a knowable something
one that you know when you’ve been there and one that you don’t when you haven’t
creosote or greasewood blossoms on a spring morning in the sonora desert north of phoenix arizona
Maple seeds highlighted by the rising sun….
I was a block from the house and had to stop at a stop-sign…and when I turned to my right to look into the cul-de-sac to make sure there was no traffic coming, I saw this crazy sunrise blazing up from behind the mountains…so I went through the intersection and quickly turned around and sped back to the house and flew into and through the garage and to my desk and grabbed my camera and rushed out the back door and hoped hoped hoped that it would all still be there…and this is what remained…
…and yes, yes, yes…there is a lesson here…and it was just cemented for me…
…it is time to start taking the camera with me everywhere…even for the drive to and from work everyday….
She stood forlorn in the dewless grass while an almost warm wind or breeze blew through the early-morning yard. The porch light was on and things were clear, but she looked about as if she were lost. The other dogs were in the house already and I suspected that she was trying to see something moving about so she might know that she wasn’t alone. I opened the door and called to her, but my voice didn’t register; I whistled and she remained there, looking around, wondering. Her younger playmate ran down the stairs and out into the yard and seemingly on purpose, bumped the side of his body into hers, startling her, but letting her know that she wasn’t alone, telling her that she could come in now. And so she sleeps…in her winter years….
So, it’s 18 degrees outside this morning and there is an icy blanket of frost covering the entire back yard…not only in that blanket form, but it appears that each blade of grass is wearing the sparkling finery and reflecting the glow of the porch light and waking sun. My wife’s old dog was still breathing as I walked past her, which is likely a good thing, even though the poor creature is blind and deaf and can barely make it down the stairs and into the yard for her morning relief. There is laundry tumbling in the dryer and another cup of coffee waiting in the pot on the counter as the rest of the house is still quiet and the marvel of my Saturday morning is rich and wonderful.
We’ve been together as a family up here in our new home for a year now. We’ve had some rough go of it making adjustments, learning new things and places, slowly letting go of that past where comfort and familiarity were solid and known and as dependable as a mourning dove on a fence post at a given hour…she might have not beeen there every morning at the same time, but she was there with enough regularity that we almost came to refer to her as family, a known and constant presence that meant things were right and proper and the way they should be. And in our 18 degrees this morning, there was another mourning dove on the fence post; she sat there for a moment after I opened the door and let the old dog outside, and then fluttered with her characteristic sound over into the Russian olive tree nearby and sat there for me, signifying or telling me that yes, things are kind of normal again…mostly, maybe, close enough probably…and it’s a good morning already and so far, as the boys are waking and causing their ruckus and stir down the hall…which means that my morning quiet is fleeing fast and running far away….
…or so they say. And I might believe them, but only for today. I’ve been duped before, led to believe and hope and whatever then. But, it’s warm outside and the wind is blowing and the leaves are skittering about as the wind chimes are chiming and gonging as they’re singing their song. I looked outside and then walked outside as I took a break from my morning walk about the kitchen in my making of coffee and feeding the dogs and etc and etc. I looked to my favored East and above the mountains and noticed the clouds there with their morning waking and moving. I saw, too, that the sun was rising and poking through the spreading hue, as there was a sizeable space between the bottom of the clouds and the tops of the mountains and the morning sun shone through and lighted the clouds with a fiery orange and a gentle pink and a touch of Fall’s golden-yellow and then. The colors reached and bathed the bottoms of the clouds, but missed somehow the thicker and gray curls and swirls of the farthest sides. Those darkened lines defined and shaped the golden rose of the flaming clouds and kept them from drawing further across the sky. This bright morning waking of the clouds only touched the snow-topped crags beneath them, for the dark-souled mountains only stood there with their contrasting black forms and white coats that defined their draws and points…so I rushed back inside and grabbed my low-budget camera and snapped a shot of that fiery glow above the rocky peaks and nearly exclaimed in disgust at how the image captured there was so lame and bland and looked nothing like the glory of that eastern morning sky…so you only get to read my words today and not rest your eyes on the beauty that I beheld those minutes and hours or more ago.
Black mountains and dark, concealed behind clouds and forests grown, strange and magical things hidden within, without and within those brazen massifs, those hulking, sleeping monsters of stone and sand and water and trees. They sit on a fault-line, an imaginary or created timeline, a marking of their past and future movements, those postulated projections of personal growth and peripheral destruction, they sit there and we wait, but not them. They don’t feel their strainings, the forces that are pushing them up and away from their sisters or brothers on the other side of the valley plain. They are just there, full of themselves and heedless of what we think or imagine of them.
Staring at the red-eyed ass-end of cars and trucks and jeeps and other sundry motored craft with my eyes all a glimmer with the reflections from those little white and yellow reflector type thingies that line and border the roadway and guide me along my Monday morning crush and rush to that famed and beloved workplace those many twenty and some miles away…gum wrappers and stop signs and don’t stop in front of the fire-station exit and the shiny vest with reflector stripes on the weebly-wobbly guy who’s walking up to the bus-stop catches my eye as I approach and cross the reflector marked railings along the canal and floodway passage that has mated with the bike route that goes from here to forever when you’re riding it against the wind that whips through its tunnels wafting the transients’ urine smell gust-like up your nose in shadow form and passing…. And the one fire-control-systems truck that just had to launch from the stoplight like a hot-rod on a summer night, young driver aflame with the passions of his pursuits to impress whomever might be watching and then took his foot off the gas and dropped immediately to just below cruising speed at 40+ mph…needed or not…with the vroom of my engine and sideways glance and just make up your mind, drive or don’t, but get out of the way…and we’re just driving to work.