Friday, April 15, 2011

Land Escapes

Today the weather has blown like the bullet train through our trees, bushes, and tiny blooming flowers.  I'd promised Lucy a walk, but when attempting to stand tall in the piercing wind became a struggle, I turned around for home, and Lucy followed forlorn at my heels. Wanting to pretend I lived elsewhere for the afternoon, I pulled out some of my old children's books, and read them aloud. No one heard my words, but Lucy occasionally fluttered her tail. She would have liked the stories of Byrd Baylor and the great desert of the southwest. I've told her about my visits to the great desert from California to Arizona.

It was difficult to focus on the warmth and spaciousness of the desert when all around me trees were swirling, a tin building awning was whipping and banging against a metal siding, birds were nose diving instead of gliding, and for a few moments white flakes fluttered by. I'd like to think it was the blooms off my trees rather than snow on April 15! But alas, I want to reflect on my desert visits and the earthy brown tones that surrounded us, since I promised my friends I'd continue my "Landscapes" from last week. I just changed the title in my attempt to flee this winter/spring weather pattern.

So let's escape to a warm dusty climate. Author, Byrd Baylor, writes of a celebration for "dust devils" in her book I'm In Charge of Celebrations. I, too, have had an encounter with a dust devil. On Sunday, April 3, we were playing golf at The Gallery north of Tucson in Marana, Arizona where the temperature was in the 80's and a breeze was beginning to blow from the south. Between two golf holes there was hacienda type
building that housed the bathrooms. As always, in a hurry to keep up the pace of play, I stepped into the bathroom, shut the door, but did not lock it. For heavens sake, it was the middle of the desert and there was no body around. While sitting there the wind began to whip, the door began to bang, and I began to wiggle wishing I could stop and stand. Suddenly, the door whipped open full blast banging against the wall and sending in a spiraling shower of dust and dirt. I dared not scream for fear of filling my mouth with dust. The venting fan rattled as it was forced to turn one way then another in the wind. I hurriedly gathered myself together and listened as my friend, Kathy, was yelping with the wind blasts, in the bathroom next door. As suddenly as the wind erupted, it stopped.

We stepped out and made our way up the path to the next tee box. Kathy's husband, Jimmy, was smiling and pointing, "Did you girls see that dust devil?" We followed his pointed hand to the south. Simultaneously, we cried, "No we didn't see it, we felt it and heard it? What happened?" In a casual chuckle Jimmy responded, "Kathy, what you see is a dust devil that seem to have started just north of the bathroom, building dust, and then it roared right over (or into) the building." Memory giggles filled my lungs as I thought of the embarrassment of being greeted by the dust devil.

By the time we were ready to hit our tee shots the dust devil was headed down the valley. Off and on the rest of the afternoon my eyes wondered down the valley, watching a multitude of dust devils play chase across the warm desert floor. I would have liked to say my golf game remained focused that day, but like my writing my focus wonders. That's a good thing, because I can always find a story to tell and reasons to celebrate. I wonder what Lucy would have done if she'd been greeted by a dust devil?

Be at peace my friends and enjoy the day ahead.

No comments:

Post a Comment