Monday, March 23, 2015

Weatherman. Letter 20

Dear Governor Ducey, 
While the rest of the country longs for spring, to come out of the dark, cold months, in Flagstaff, we would rather winter forever than bear spring. Spring comes, like it does everywhere, with warmer temperatures and longer days but in Flagstaff, it comes with wind. The nicer it looks outside the more powerful the breeze. I would go sit in the sunshine today but I would have to batten down my computer to keep it from flying away. I ride my bike more in the winter snow than I do in the spring wind. Even in Phoenix, you must still love the spring. You love every season, except maybe summer—and even then, like snow-bound Minnesotans, you love to say you survived the extremes.

I was thinking about why everyone seems up in arms in the winter about the policies enacted by a punishing legislature but by spring, everyone seems to have forgotten. Maybe it’s because it is so nice right now in Phoenix. You can sit outside, drink a margarita, worry about how you’re going to pay private school prices to send your kids to a public university another day.

But here in Flag, we are not drinking margaritas. The wind here is not the sea breezy kind. None of us wants rim salt flying into our eyeballs. Or sand, for that matter. Here in Flagstaff, we are bearing the wind as we bear you. With set jaws and a little bit of resignation. There are not nearly enough of us to vote you all out of office (plus, not all of Northern Arizona votes of one mind. Carlyle Begay, for example). We are sitting inside even when the temperature reads a comfortable 68 degrees, the wind whips cold. So instead of enjoying the sunshine, we are typing and sending emails and clicking on the “Recall Doug Ducey” button on Facebook. Maybe when real summer hits, we’ll take a break. But then it will be monsoon season. Huge storms will roll black with rain. We’ll thank the rain for making up for this year’s low snowfall. We’ll shake our heads in amazement at how far clouds can carry whole oceans. We’ll nod in surprise at how the ravens can take so much ocean dumped upon their heads. Ravens would make good political activists. They never give up. They make missions even out of wind. Even though Flagstaffians would rather join the ravens outdoors, the wind forces us inside. So we may as well type. We may as well email. We may as well not let people forget that although it looks bright and sunny out, the wind always comes back. We’ll keep blowing letters and emails and petitions from up here. One day, your spring and your summer, and worse, your fall, when you hold elections, are going to blow like Flagstaff springtime blows.  These letters are like wind. They’ll keep blowing. And, like Bob Dylan says, you won’t need a weatherman to know which way.

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