We have had a very long and hard winter here in the Pacific Northwest. Since the first week of December we’ve been hit with winter storms about every four days. Every type of frozen precipitation has fallen from the skies: snow, sleet, hail, freezing rain. Poncho has spent countless hours on the tractor plowing the lane, putting chains on the truck, taking chains off, dumping snow in the bed of the truck for extra weight, clearing fallen trees, just so I can get to work. Quite frankly we are both meteorologically exhausted.
During this extended, unwelcome visit from Old Man Winter, we’ve been viewing the Breaking Bad series. One of my family members recommended it and it seemed like a way to wile away the dark afternoons and evenings. To be sure, the characters in this series are crazy, funny, often very violent, but every now and then they accidentally do something very good.
The character that has had the most impact on me isn’t a person at all, it’s the city – Albuquerque. That is where I am from and it is where the series was filmed. The turquoise blue skies, the white cotton clouds, the fiery golden sun, the bleached sand, the pink granite Sandia Mountains. I can almost smell the sage and chamissa and greasewood. There is no rain (or at the most, very little), there is abundant sunshine, it is warm. The Desert Southwest is everything that the Pacific Northwest is not right now. It is Arid. And I am missing it terribly.
I realize that there are significant trade offs. That aridness means very little water, not much for spectacular greenery, and the wildfire danger is always present. However, as I sit here and pick moss from between my webbed toes, I imagine myself riding in that yellow desert scene on a horse with no name.
Apologies to the bands Led Zeppelin and America.
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