2010 Arizona travel blog


yard view with blackbirds

patio is finished

We are on our way back to Washington after six months in Arizona. I am making a few observations on that six months before it slips away into the netherland of my memory and before we become immersed once again in daily life on the island. This two week road trip provides a nice transition where it feels like I am suspended in time between here and there somewhere in southern Utah.

We are leaving the springtime Sonoran Desert where all the mesquite trees and the cottonwoods by the river are bright green, the cactus are blooming with amazing colors and the temperatures are in the 80s and sunny every day. (Don’t ask Ken why we are leaving). I have learned so much about desert life; the cycles of the seasons are subtle but different there and the contrast to the Northwest is, of course, marked.

The winter was sweet with lovely days in Tubac, filled with zumba classes, painting in the afternoon in the west light of the guest bedroom, walking to the village to peruse the art galleries, hikes in the nearby mountains, shopping and cultural trips to Tucson and some lovely new friends. I also became involved in a local Dying Well class and teaching an art lesson to students in Sasabe, Mexico, right across the boarder. There is also a small local Buddhist Meditation group, a good support for my meditation practice. When I was younger, time and energy seemed boundless and were used in a full but unconscious manner. Now I am fully conscious of both and am much more careful in how they are expended. The development of my art is my priority and I am becoming more disciplined about it. Ken put a lot of energy into constructing a brick patio and relaxing.

Our month long trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, was a highlight. I so enjoy becoming immersed in another culture, for perspective on my own for one thing. The Mexican culture is right in our face as we live thirty miles from the boarder, and the Native American culture is also strong in Arizona. On our way back each year we enjoy exploring prehistoric ruins, the ancient history of our country is well preserved in the southwest. How different and rich is Mexican culture; we were far into the depths of Mexico and steeped in Zapotec history. It is fascinating that the Spaniards intermarried easily with the natives and a new culture was born, while in our country the white settlers did not but rather were bent on extermination for the most part...for land or just pure racial prejudice. Both these aspects lie deep in the American psyche. Unfortunately even today we see this in attitudes towards Mexican immigrants and even towards our president. It is frustrating that our legislators are unwilling to take on true immigration reform as we so desperately need a workable solution to this major elephant on the table.

So we leave the Sonoran Desert for awhile, the saguaro cactus and grasslands dotted with mesquites, the coyotes and blackbirds we hear behind the house.

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