I love being in Tucson, where the saguaros welcome us on the edge of Gates Pass. The mornings have been chilly. But by noon the sun shines down on the back patio. A trickling waterfall soothes me with one of my favorite sounds on Earth. Water. Immersed in the desert sunshine. Sparkling city lights at night. The Tucson mountains greeting us at all hours. Sunset ribbons of pink hovering over darkening mountain silhouettes every evening.
We’re not in Arctic Minneapolis anymore. One more month of Tucson magic.
Our daily mantra: Write; Hike; Read.
WRITE: I’m working on an essay about the end of history education. Neglected truths. “Alternative facts??” Dismal historical and civic knowledge. Once a history teacher, always a history teacher!
HIKE: Yesterday we hiked Brown Mountain, another new one for me.
I’m feeling very fit, realizing how tough it is for me to be housebound in the Minneapolis ice and snow. Not to mention frigid temperatures. Before we left in late December, I just had to get out and walk. Slipping as I crossed the street I fell on the back of my head. Yikes.
No concussion as far as I can tell. My brain seems the same — words disappearing in a flash, memory loss, more fatigue with every year over seventy. But I’m grateful for every hike we take.
READ: “The Signature of All Things” by Elizabeth Gilbert, that’s my Minneapolis book club reading. The saga of Alma Whittaker enthralls me. I have around one hundred pages left before we zoom this week to include me in the discussion. I’m grateful to my new reader friends.
Happily, the book is definitely not “Eat. Pray. Love.” I highly recommend it, the life story of a wealthy Philadelphia botanist creeping into spinsterhood in the first half of the nineteenth century. I’m expecting that the final section will lead me to an even greater appreciation of Alma’s life: her courage; her curiosity; her doubts; her confidence and her anxiety.
Meanwhile, I’m hugging myself amid all the friendly saguaros (my man accompanied me for two miles on yesterday’s hike). Three big ups and three big downs starting up the trail behind me, totaling around 800 feet of elevation, 5.3 miles (see the previous photo to one of the tops).
Diverse saguaro personalities cheered me on along the way. Like my Tucson human friends. It’s so different being here on the west side of the city, exploring new hikes while trekking up old favorites like Rattlesnake Canyon and Douglas Springs.
I’ve never hiked Phoneline Trail in Sabino Canyon. Tucson pals, anyone want to go with me?
I’m happy. I hope you, dear readers, are too.