The winter storms are savage, attacking areas normally immune, affecting millions of people with threat to quality of life if not death.
In Arizona we read the headlines, talk with our loved ones “back home,” and agree, “this is why we live in Arizona.”
This season is possibly the best. The punishing heat of last summer is forgotten. This year’s summer is far enough in the future that we can pretend it won’t return this year. Meanwhile, we are outdoors, picnicking, hiking, hanging out, niksening.
While COVID imprisons other parts of the nation indoors, our outdoor patios welcome guests, with masks, of course. Heat is supplemented if needed by portable heaters or another layer of clothing.
Mike and I left the house four times over the weekend, a record. Errands that demanded to be completed encouraged us to some light hiking on the following two days.
The climax on Day Four: COVID-19 vaccine followed by coffee and breakfast in the park.
These outings feed our souls. Unlike a walk in our neighborhood, surrounded by suburban houses, concrete, and vehicle racket, a walk among lightly developed nature reminds us that we are part of something much bigger, ephemeral, and eternal. A taste of the divine.
We anxiously await news of a close friend hospitalized thousands of miles away. News comes of other friends, also hospitalized. The frailty of the human body cannot be denied. No matter how hard I try, my physical fitness maintains but does not significantly improve.
A light hike supported by trekking poles reminds me that although my body is slowly failing, my soul remains strong. This is the gift revealed through Jesus for Christians. Other religions have their equally strong spiritual allies. This is the time to bolster our souls. A walk in the desert is helpful.