Things I Will Miss About the Desert

Sunset

For two reasons: on the one hand, in days like these, sunset means a slight reprieve from the oppressive, scorching summer heat. Variously, it signals “time to swim,” “time to venture outdoors finally,” or even “a chance to take out the trash.”

But Arizona does tend to make this worth one’s while, as the sunsets are often arresting, shocking, stunning, and even a little scary for anyone who’s ever lived near water. Routinely pulling in pinks, magentas, celery greens, pale blues, fiery oranges and reds, the sunsets complicate the skies like fractal drawings (if there are clouds) and like watercolor studies (in clear skies).

Last night’s sunset, as I drove back into central Phoenix from the Ahwatukee area of town, was a dark, cotton candy pink, marred by an escaping thunderhead that seemed to be releasing itself from the ground in the West Valley. I was looking for fire at its base, but there was none.

It was the day of the first monsoon. Those I will not miss.

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