we wonder what it might be like to live in Arizona. But the wettest
parts of Arizona boast 'more than 16 inches' of rain a year, and the
driest parts of Arizona think in terms of 8 inches of rain a year.
Here, were we live in Kentucky, we think in terms of 50 inches of rain a
year. And it is this lack of rain in Arizona that discourages a
voyage of imagination, even when our hills are blooming mushrooms and the
air is yellow with dust from Golden Rod, and there is a green slime
growing up the driveway.
Nor are we the only souls
confused by the state of flux September appears to have brought with it
this year. The community of Woolly Bear has discovered no rhyme and
no reason to their collective. I have seen all black Woolly Bear and
I have seen all brown Woolly Bear. I have sensed that ancient
antipathy to changing season with its associated search for a sign of
certainty. Woolly Bears probably have too, and perhaps at this
juncture ancestors of ours began to consider those sort of sacrifices that
are listed now as incomprehensible.
Better we follow the accustomed
patterns, rather than venture into the realm of blood offerings to Arctic
gods or other such follies. Better to eat the odd dozen chocolate chip
cookies than to plot the mileage from here to the deserts of Arizona where
the January mean is 48 degrees, under a sun that is hot enough to heat
water. And far better to enter the race a cucumber bloom is now having
here with the frost date, than to wander into the possibilities of future
places where cucumbers might grow all through the year.
Yes indeed, much, much better to think
about socks and overcoats and vests than to do something truly foolish like
wake up on February the 4th and drive to Grasshopper, Arizona.