Saturday, January 01, 2011

Farewell to 2010

On Thursday afternoon, I tried to get some pictures of the fresh snow on Four Peaks. I went a little too early in the afternoon, though, and it was still shrouded in clouds. Suzanne was driving through town later in the afternoon and said that Four Peaks looked very majestic clothed in white. I thought I would get another shot at pictures on Friday; surely it would clear up by then. Well, Friday started out gloomy and overcast, which was good since I had to spend a few hours at the office. It didn't clear up much in the afternoon, though. I started out for Four Peaks road at about 3:30, and the clouds did thin some but they never went away.

A splotch of sunlight on the mountain.

It was 39 out there, which is a little chilly for a valley desert rat. I was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, so I wasn't uncomfortable. I could see a gap in the clouds between where the sun was and the horizon, so I figured the mountain would be fully bathed in sunlight when the sun got low enough, and the clouds around the summit would add a nice touch. Silly me. I didn't consider that the clouds to the west might be lower than the top of the mountain. Live and learn.

It looked like snow was still falling here and there.

Anyway, since I was unaware that my mission was doomed to failure, I wandered around near the truck taking pictures of this and that (i.e., saguaros and cholla) and putting my hands in my pockets when they got cold. The scenery was beautiful, but I didn't pick a very good place to wander around. There were people camped nearby and they were zipping back and forth on ATVs with modified exhausts and they had a generator going and were blasting the desert with cheesy radio commercials. I picked the spot because of the view, though, and I was taking pictures and not making movies.

Another splotch, or maybe it's the same one moved over a little.

About 10 years ago my Dad said to me, "You never quit worrying about your children." At the time, I thought that he just worried too much. He should just let the kids fend for themselves and not worry about it. I was planning to throw my kids out when they turned 18 and forget about them. It didn't quite work out that way, though.

My Dad also told me, "Your [specifically mine] children have some growing up to do." I knew that was true back then, but I didn't expect it to still be so true today. Sometimes I wonder if I should have thrown them out. Maybe they would have grown up if they had no choice.

We have had some fun over the years, but the kids always seem to find new and creative ways to cause us stress and anguish. It really hurts when you realize that the one and only thing you can do that might help someone you love is to put them out on the street with the clothes on their back and $100 in their pocket, and turn your back and walk away.

2011 is already shaping up to outdo 2010, though. If you tell somebody that decision A is the path to security and peace of mind but decision B, while it might be fun for an evening, is the path to uncertainty and worry and possibly to boundless grief and sorrow, how can they be so short-sighted as to choose B?

When I walk through the desert, I see only the desert, and I hear only the desert, and usually I think only about the desert. I like to go alone, so nobody can bring my thoughts back to town. It looks harsh and it can be brutal, but in the desert I find only peace and tranquility.

I'm thinking I might need to spend more time in the desert in 2011.



julia said...

I hope Suzanne spends a lot of time in the desert this year too. The past few years have probably taken a few years off of my life. I was wishing I had a desert. On our trip this fall, I finally relaxed by the time we got to Arizona. I realized then that I haven't relaxed in years. It felt odd. I'm determined to hang on to the mindset now. I have to quit stressing over things I can't change. That's easier said than done, but it has to be done.    "HOW MANY OF YOU, BY WORRYING, CAN ADD ONE HOUR TO YOUR LIFE?". Jesus wouldn't have told us to stop worrying if it wasn't possible.

Art said...

Yes, I sometimes wonder how you tolerate all your trials. You can't just ignore these things.