“What good is the warmth of summer, without the winter to give it sweetness” ~ Unknown
Old Man Winter; a curious phrase to describe an ageless season that is at once beautiful to behold, and menacing to endure for many. Though changes out here are subtle at best, as winter fingers begin to tingle across the southwest desert I can’t help but reflect on our recent summer days when lizards panted in the shade of Mesquites, dogs were only walked at dawn, and although it’s never scrawled on cardboard signs, beggars were just as grateful for a bottle of water on a scorching summer day as they were for a dollar to squander away.
Isn’t the change of seasons one of the greatest inspirations for ponderings? Perhaps it’s the idea of change in general that invites the burning questions: What if? Or How come? A few of mine are why wouldn’t they include a parachute along with the floatation device under your seat on a plane? Why are there braille dots on drive-up ATM keypads? And how is it that I can expertly stab in a post earring; first try, without a mirror, but I need a ruler to draw a straight line?
Of course, it’s understandable how folks who may be hunkering down for the season’s first snowfall could imagine that we desert-dwellers have nothing to look forward to, but quite the contrary! Nearly all of the pesky flies, bees, migratory bats and sneaky snakes have gone away, and as the brilliant sun gleams in a deeper blue sky, we all venture back outside to reclaim our yards and patios, rejoice in the cooler days and relish the burnished red sunsets of fall in the desert.
And oh how creativity flows! Characters plead on windswept whispers for one more captivating chapter as revisions emerge with tinkling bells in the back of your mind at a stoplight. I’ll give in, I always do. Won’t you?
Read often, write well!