Dust Bunnies

Monday, February 20, 2012 —

Spring comes early to the Sonora Desert.  It arrives mid-February with the celebration of Presidents’ Day weekend.  Some people say we don’t have the change of seasons here, but we do.  The fresh air and bright sun alert us to the fact that summer is right around the corner, and that now is the time to enjoy the weather.  Something else emerges as spring pronounces its arrival.  I begin to notice dust–dust on shelves, dust on pictures frames, and dust on the fake floral arrangements!  Spring cleaning is inevitable.

Hot Air Balloon over the Desert — Thunderbird Conservation Park, Glendale, Arizona

After a quick trip to Walgreens for cleaning supplies, I return home and pick up the dust pan and broom, determined to get a handle on this.  Dropping to my knees I cautiously peek beneath the bed only to find a horrific sight!  Legions of dust bunnies stare at me, poised to launch a full-on allergy attack!  Startled, I cannot decide if I should accept the challenge or retreat.  At a time like this, there is only one alternative.

I don my expensive polarized shades and hat for protection.  I grab my husband, a water bottle and my new camera.  We head for the hills!  I chuckle to myself as I step out of the vehicle and my feet hit the soft desert dust.  As we hike, dust kicks up around us, and I don’t give a second thought about allergies.  In fact, particles of dust glisten in the sunlight as joggers, dog-walkers, and families scamper along the trail.  Children and leashed dogs of all varieties scurry up to the ridgeline while we older folks take a little longer to get there.

The view of the city is spectacular, and an American flag at the summit snaps with the breeze, reminding us that Monday is a national holiday.   We don’t spend long at the top, but as we descend something else catches my eye on the northern horizon.  A dozen brightly colored hot air balloons begin their ascent, one at a time, in the distance.  Their elegance lifts my spirit, and I soar to them with the zoom on my camera.  My sight is fixed on them all the way back to the car where we shake the dust off our feet and head home.

At nightfall I cleanse my body from the dust of the day, pop an allergy pill, and snuggle in for the night.  Tea lights flicker in the darkness, and mellow tones of Native American flute music transport me to another time.  I hear my mother’s voice and her all too famous words, “God made dirt, and a little bit of dirt don’t hurt.”  I drift into sleep knowing that I will be safe through the night, protected by God and an army of dust bunnies under my bed.

(c) 2013 Patricia J. Angus

Originally published on February 20, 2012 at http://lifeisapopcornparty.blogspot.com/

footprints in dust cropped

Go take a hike!

http://www.nps.gov/index.htm

http://azstateparks.com/find/f_act_hiking.html

http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/

http://phoenix.gov/recreation/rec/parks/preserves/index.html

http://www.glendaleaz.com/ParksandRecreation/ThunderbirdPark.cfm

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