Desert Renewal


It’s the last week of April and I’ve traveled home to Scottsdale, Arizona; back to the desert where bougainvillea and jacaranda bloom in fuchsia and lavendar alongside craggy tar-topped roads. Springtime in the high desert is gorgeous and colourful and embodies this week’s theme on renewal. Like anything else, the desert is cyclical, an ecology of forces that present themselves most gently this time of year. It’s a time of abundance, a sort of reverse harvest that occurs before the dead winter of summer withers any traces of creative exuberance away.

I love spring in Scottsdale for:

The sunny poolside days infused with Coppertone and salty margaritas; Sunrise Trail on Via Linda; one-time blooming century plants; acacia trees and queen palms; outdoor patios; AJ’s Fine Purveyor of Food; barbequed salmon and corn-on-the-cob; afternoon lovemaking; open windows; sunburned shoulders; aloe vera gel; date shakes; bare feet; a sherbet sky riffed with neroli and jasmine; fresh lemon ice water; and the howl of a horny coyote.



But not my experience this time around. I am here for renewal purposes, but not my own. I have a sick family member well into the heat of the summer, withered on many levels with hope for a turn of seasons. But she’s a hearty one, she’s a century plant with several more Springs in her.

About The Author

Cynthia Vale is a budding scholar and doctoral student in Transformative Inquiry at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She writes the dot429 philosophy blog. You can reach Cynthia at

Send this to friend