Guess how many days of sun there are per year in Phoenix?
I know it sounds fabulous, which it is, but it can also be very confusing. The seasons here are subtle, the natural rhythms a little bit out of whack. Because of the heat, summer is our time of withdrawal and going within. The period of quiet and rest. I knew this year would be difficult in terms of navigating my natural sense of time, but with wisdom, perspective, and experience, I am beginning to see how the seasons here have their own subtle vibe. It’s easier to see on the outskirts of the city, but that’s not where we are. We’re here. In the middle.
Through re-immersion and a whole lot of radio play, I’m finding that the way I felt seasons in the desert was through music. Summer was poolside, cheesy pop, movie hits. We saw a lot of movies because it was a cold respite during the afternoon heat. In Bozeman, people ski. In Phoenix, people swim. It’s these weird little quirks that catch my attention and resonate deep. When I lived in Montana, I assumed I wasn’t active because I didn’t do what everyone else did.
Here I remember that I have never done what everyone else does.
My skin is a different color now. My hair is changing too, highlighted from the sun. Hands healing from the years of cold and wind. We won’t be in this place long, but I sure am glad we came back. I like who I’ve become. This place, remembered by the music in these lists, doesn’t define me anymore. It’s just a place I’ve been.
There are parts that I had forgotten too. Big parts.
Like when the transition would swing into autumn, marked by school, the breaking of the heat, coming home from summer camps.
Returning to our sacred building on the west end of campus. Orchestra. Band. Jazz. Drama. Choir.
In our high school, the performing arts building is just as big as the athletic department. I never realized that before.
Here’s a taste of what we used to play, what we used to come back to. What I’m coming back to now in my own particular way, though the songs have all changed.