The Burghers of Calais are permanently established at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. It was a cool winter day that Denny and I had some fun posing as part of the scene. They may have been unwilling travelers for their appointed journey. We, on the other hand, embarked on our journey with eyes wide open and excitement at the opportunity. How reassuring, after three weeks of record breaking temperatures, we are enjoying upper 90’s, an occasional evening shower, and gorgeous skies and scenery in our newly adopted Arizona.
Everything seems different here – the way the heat embraces your whole existence, the pace, the scenery. Yet there is a common bond in the air. Many of us have emigrated from another life to this arid space. We’re all here, from California and Canada, Texas, Illinois, even the Lost Boys of Sudan are among the many that now call this place home. Each of us has our own history and reason for being here. How long is a question that can only be answered over time.
I know that even though I miss some of my old life, I am grateful for the change. It has come at the right point in time, though I can’t even begin to explain or know why. Each day establishes its own pace, intersecting the paces of the other people and things I encounter. The cottontails and quails seem to be everywhere. My husband and I alternate our morning walk to favor the wind, or shade, or not interfere with a mom bobcat and her cub crossing the road. More bizarre is witnessing a quail family scurrying across right behind them. That certainly lessened my fear, knowing a next meal was being ignored in favor of a destination. Some days we see the same people walking. Some wave and we wave back, some keep their privacy and we respect the same. And all the while we perform our mundane errands – which never go away no matter where we are – but still enjoy the little details that make life feel good. I don’t mind the chores so much because I have the time to do them without feeling rushed or pushed. I figure this is all part of establishing a natural rhythm. Now I feel I have the power to say yes or no, and not feel pressured into doing things I don’t want to do. Makes me wonder how much of this attitude I could have adopted into my “former” life? Hard to say. Another question to let simmer in the back of my mind. I guess it’s all about choice, in the long run.