This morning, my husband and I woke up, started making coffee and wondered out loud, “Should we make coffee and THEN walk, or walk and come back to coffee?”  Since the Arizona weather has cooled, we’ve started a new weekend ritual: while our daughters sleep in, we go for a walk with Opal, our pitbull rescue. We have been going to a new park next to the elementary school in our community. The design includes a winding walkway, a water pump, simple signs describing wild life and cacti and of course, quail, jackrabbits, ground squirrels, roadrunners, gila woodpeckers, mourning doves, cactus wren and various cacti.


We’re out for an hour or so. Yesterday, we went to the new park. This morning, we walked in Usery Park. We walk down several blocks from our home and cross a wash and voila! Usery. It’s protected and the plants there survive without any irrigation, it’s xeriscape at it’s best. Opal darts in and out and inevitably catches cholla on her paws. But she’s in heaven and so are we.

Walking in nature, one feels a sense of peace unmatched in one’s daily life. The open, blue sky above….the vast landscape of untouched nature ahead….the utter joy of one’s dog leaping and chasing jackrabbits and then limping back to us, asking us to remove thorns from her paw. It’s times like these, where you feel you’re really looking at the Big Picture and you realize what is truly important: love and presence.


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