Yes, denizens, Tucson has lakes. They are not Lake Michigan size lakes, but they have water and boundaries and signs that designate them as such. I walked around one today.
I walked all the way around, on pavement for a while and then on hard packed desert soil.... dirt... solid enough to repel a trowel, with a dusting of soft small granules and larger, trip-inducing pebbles and stones and rocks.
The wild flowers are beginning to sprout, and there are low clusters of leaves, gathered like old friends meeting up at their favorite spots again, now that the weather is right. It hasn't rained very much this winter, but that doesn't seem to have impeded their progress... the way they impeded mine this morning. I didn't want to step on them, they were too wide to step over, and moving laterally is a skill I've yet to full master.
I smiled as I problem-solved. A year ago, I could not have done this walk.
We parked our cars with one space between them, ever hopeful, as always, for a little one upon our return. We noticed the fishermen and fisherkids and the dog park across the parking lot. We were annoyed by loud motorized vehicles of some sort, but the egret... or was it a heron... in the tree didn't seem bothered at all.
Trying to avoid the nagging sense of guilt (from whence, no one knows) I felt due to my inability to properly identify a bird in my realm, we stood in awe of the soft, white, wispy feathers floating weightlessly above the sturdier, even whiter, ones below. The bird ignored us. We were much less interesting than the fish in the lake.
Imagining him surveying the buffet, deciding where to begin, we walked on, resting once or twice for a minute or two, each of us understanding the other's pace and thoughtfulness of foot placement and hip rotation. We were using what needed to be used, in the most efficient and purposeful manner possible. We were aware of our limitations and our aches and our twinges, but our focus was on the sun and the perhaps-they-are-water-treatment-tanks in the distance, and then there was a darker bird, a six or seven foot wing span bird, lifting and lowering his massive appendages as we sat and watched, mouths open in awe.
After a brief digression into the sorbet of literature, James Patterson, and his Maximum Ride series (wherein the main characters are hybrid human-bird teens) and the notion of just picking up and moving like that, so effortlessly, we continued around the last of the thirteen acres back to our still-not-reproducing cars.
It was a good way to start off a tough week.