Earlier this month, Julie and I took a 15-mile e-bike journey across the Sonoran Desert north of Phoenix. Our guide knew the area well. He informed us that broken pottery littered the area. The Hohokom people who lived here for thousands of years believed shattering old pots would release the spirit of the departed artists who made them. While we searched for shards, our guide cautioned us to keep our eyes open for rattlesnakes, Sonoran toads, and spiny lizards. A pack of coyotes shadowed us for much of the journey, yipping to each other as they slinked just out of sight behind the brittle bush and ironwood trees.
A light rain dampened our little trek, but quickly blew east in time to catch the last rays of the setting sun and give us this little arc of a rainbow on the distant horizon. A line from H. R. Wakefield’s “He Cometh and He Passeth By” echoed in memory:
“Arizona is a moon-dim region, very lovely in its way, and stark and old, an ancient, lonely land. One is brought up against the vast enigmas of time and space and eternity.”
I felt that.