In the past ten days, we've had the chance to go to the desert twice. The first time, further South, where the Saguaro actually live, and yesterday, to the close desert of Sedona. Neither of them is balmy right now but compared to the snowy mountaintop, it was warm. One could sit outside for an hour or two. One could watch the clouds roll over the Central Arizona Water Project. One could refill the aquifer, if one were Zoe or her friend Louisa, by turning on the hose and making a fresh pile of mud in the sand on the driveway.
I'm sure it's my protestant, Weberian background that makes me believe one must fully experience four full seasons but one benefit of Flagstaff is that I get my Protestant Boy Scout Badge by bearing the snow while still occasionally being able to dip down to the hotter places. Not hot enough to swim but hot enough to be outside.
In the desert, you can eat, if you are Zoe and/or Louisa and/or Max, forty-eight Clementines. You can splash in the hot tub. You can wake up before everyone else and sneak down to the wash to see if last night's rain made a flood. You can take a bath and then run around naked after. You can make mud. You can change your clothes on the patio. You can eat nuts that fell into the sand, if you dust them off first. You can play hide the tangerine, practicing for Easter Egg hunts. Or, in the closer, red rock desert, you can ride your bike down a slickrock trail at 25 miles an hour, making even your dad scream, "slow down." You can cry a little afterward, all adrenaline filled. Or you could choose to ride in the carseat on the back of your mom's bike going "woah, woah, woah" over the rocks. And then you can come back home and sit by the woodstove and wait for dinner. Perhaps, the next night, you mom will make chicken and dumplings with the dumplings pate a choux style.
Sometimes, even when it's probably in my best interest to check out other places and other jobs, especially ones with water, I wonder if I should bother. It's nice to have the hot so close even while I suffer the winter of my Protestant/Weberian self. And, Erik says we live on top of the one of the world's largest aquifers so perhaps there's more water than I think.