I grew up in the desert and thought it was the most beautiful place on earth. My best friend in high school and I would ditch our afternoon classes senior year to drive to sandstone cliffs, where we’d climb and tan and talk as lizards scuttled near. We’d kick up red dust in dry stream beds as we hiked, mindful of scorpions and rattlesnakes. It seemed perilous and that was part of the attraction.
It was quiet. There was always something soaring. I can’t speak for her, but I was aware how unique it was to grow up in such a place. I felt blessed to be a desert-dweller.
At night, we’d drive up twisty roads to the top of formations hand-hewn by New Deal workers to sit cliffside. Heat lightning flashed in the distance. Had we been able to transport across the valley below, underneath the flashing clouds, we’d find no rain falling. It is common for thunderstorms to roll through dropping no rain. Just angry, gorgeous zings tapping out a code with the light they exhale…read more