Maybe it’s just a reaction to still being in the tail end of 3 months of a cold winter back home, but give me a trip to Phoenix this week, a rental car with a sunroof, and a couple free afternoon hours, and I felt the road calling my name.
I’ve never been to Arizona before this week. It’s a far cry from the midwest that I’ve usually called home, but there’s a stark beauty to its dark, jagged mountains and sandy, scrubby terrain. The road lies out straight and flat for countless miles with little more than an occasional cactus breaking up the line
to the peaks on the horizon.
So tonight, with two busy weeks of work travel almost behind me (home to Iowa tomorrow!) and a couple hours of sunlight, I turned the little SUV south, opened the windows and sunroof, and turned up the music. It took me a little while to get out of town and to roads less traveled, but eventually I turned off the main highway, crossed a cattle guard to turn onto a county road, and let my cares slowly filter out into the wind rushing past my window.
The music, both familiar (Bruce Hornsby) and new (Beck’s Morning Phase just came out today and is lovely) kept me company as the miles slipped behind. Prayers were spoken. Frustrations and hopes spilled out and were released to God. Little by little the beautiful broken emptiness of the desert reminded me of a greater hope, a hope that we all have for redemption.
Though 30 minutes of real traffic-free driving went by far too fast, there was also a certain cheerfulness to seeing the city lights signaling the return to civilization. Springtime is good for the soul, and my only regret from today is that I didn’t have the time to take a longer drive and see more. A friend advised
that the two-hour drive through the hills up to Sedona is worthwhile. Next time I’ll have to see if I can get there.