Saturday, November 01, 2003

The View From Here

Here, is Beaver Creek Ranch, tucked in the Arizona wilderness twenty miles from Sedona. The ranch is the campus of Southwestern Academy where I am teaching, living, and--increasingly--administering.

It rained this afternoon. Our first rain in a month. It doesn’t rain much here.

As promised by our headmaster, the canyon walls are singing with color. The rain darkened the redrock sandstone to a deep hue. A few minutes ago, the skies cleared enough to let in the setting sun. The results are beyond words.

My office includes a view over the riparian zone of Beaver Creek. The creek flows year round here, in the Arizona desert. It is fed by springs, the water clear and clean. Beyond the riparian zone, thick with large deciduous trees, the canyon wall rises five hundred feet.

My view is divided in two: the bottom half is dominated by the center of our ranch campus, the top half is a redrock wall, covered in prickly pear cactus and other desert flora.

It is a large view, but it doesn’t include much sky. Being in the arid West, however, we have ample light. The light is the thing I missed the most during my nine months in Virginia last year.

It was exactly 363 days ago today that I arrived in Berryville, and now here I am over half a continent away, teaching history, getting to know my students and new colleagues, and enjoying the light show on our canyon wall.

My email address has been utahredrock now for about five years. I am not ready to change it at this point, since it is the only piece of contact information of mine that hasn’t changed in five years. Still, I am relishing the Arizona Redrock, a close relative to its Utah neighbors.


Jim and Jackson--the greatest dog in the world

PS—As I finish writing this little piece it is now dark and raining yet again. I am starting to enjoy the rain once more--and to welcome it--something I was unable to do this spring when I was wallowing in mud and constantly wet.

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