It is known as the Valley of the Sun. I guess I never really questioned the reason before. Like most people who are drawn to Arizona, I knew it would be warm, dry, and sunny. In fact, I love the way the sun tempts me to remain outside. The Valley thing? It is real. If you climb to the top of Camelback Mountain and spin around, all the way around, you will understand. Mountains circle the city defining a balance between nature and nurture with Camelback smack dab in the center.
Tonight, the wind had quieted after two days of: “Gawd, what is with yourhair”, kind of windy-weather. My day had been a flurry of activities as I am transitioning to city life from Yellowstone, so nature’s invitation to get on my bike was a welcome change. It was still calm, and since I was just searching for quiet, I rode towards the sunset. I rested near a cliff at Lake Pleasant, and fell into the trance I had become used to in Yellowstone. I was missing my favorite rock on the Madison River, and yet, winter feels quite different in Wyoming. In Arizona, sailboats dot the seascape, cacti silhouette the landscape, and unlike Yellowstone, there is always an unobstructed view of the horizon.
The sun tucked itself behind a faraway hillside. I breathed my that was pretty momentand climbed back on my bike. Home was a 15 minute ride east, so I didn’t want to linger in the dark. Up ahead, the facing hillsides slowly changed to a splash of sherbets, pinks and yellows. Another invitation? I did a u-turn to see the day was not done yet and I been nudged back to witness the desert shadows emerge beneath the fiery show. Humbled…again.
Beautiful? Yes, but what irony to think the reason for the ride was the search for quiet calm, and the discovery was screaming color of brilliance with a message. There is always a message, if you listen.
Stay. Linger, and hold on to this exact moment in time. Let life wow you.
The ride home? A little bit quicker as a pack of coyotes, just beyond the cactus, decided to serenade me. I guess this was their effort to bring ambiance to the night, or maybe…it was a welcome to southwest living. I don’t know, but as usual…
Grateful for this beautiful place we also call home.