An evening walk in the desert.
|A Walk In My Neighborhood
I waited until dark to go for a walk, not only to avoid any power walkers, dog walkers, baby walkers and those dreaded fit joggers, but to enjoy the stars. Contrary to belief, the desert has seasons, they are just more subtle than those numbing, blinding, eternally long seasons they have in other parts of the country or world.
This is spring, though it is early February and part of my New England body thinks this is wrong, the part that belongs here in the desert welcomes it, recognizes the new beginning, even here. I notice that when I walk, I get what I wish for, no other company, but I also find it strange that no one else is out enjoying the night. I thought tonight about Kafka, or countless other authors, walking the streets of their Prague or London. But where are the normal folk?
No matter, the silence of the night is wonderful. Not complete silence, but more of a quiet punctuated by the sounds of life held at a distance, as it should be. Up and down the hills I walk listening to voices when doors are open and I begin to count the number of houses with American Idol on the television. I am annoyed each time I must walk past an overly lit house, lit to daylight as if the darkness was some kind of enemy to be vanquished by millions of watts of light. I usually cross to the other side of the street near these houses so as not to be blinded.
Then I hear the coyotes. First only one, making the long high-pitched call. Then another and another rapidly joining in until there is a cacophony of yipping and yelping and howling. Their voices echo through the washes and bounce off the hills and houses and slowly, one by one, they quiet. I wonder what they are saying. Maybe planning the night’s events? A rabbit they’ve been meaning to corner over that other hill? A deer family living in the scrub at the bottom of the wash? Maybe just a few mice tonight, last night was a bender.
I walk a little more, with Orion over my head, eternally. I love Orion and how the stars in his belt line up so perfectly. Sometimes, at certain times of the year at a certain time of night, I can see Orion perfectly framed in the little window over my bed. I sleep well those nights.
I am nearing the turn to home and enjoying the warm air, breathing as best I can, smelling the creosote bush which will forever bring the desert to mind, even when I am long gone from this place. And then I hear John Lennon in the distance, “Let it be, let it be, let it be, yeah let it be…” I look in his direction; just a typical adobe house sits there though.
At times I think my life is really just a movie, with a very appropriate soundtrack, when I can hear it.