Update: Six months in the Sonoran Desert
I haven't been here for a while. There are numerous reasons. Selling a house in the Pacific Northwest, packing a 22 foot U-Haul for a midnight run through the desert of Nevada and Arizona, and buying a new house in Phoenix is a monumental task. Add in doing this in the middle of summer, and 110 degree temps, and you have, no better term than, an adjustment disorder. Now some would call this a psychological diagnosis. I think it is the inevitable tendency of humans to argue with what is.
I suppose that too, as a cyclist, there was also the problem of not so much "discovering" new roads, but rather desperately hunting safe roads has been a problem as the Phoenix area is notorious for traffic, really bad drivers, and little infrastructure for cycling. I have to admit that I was unhappy with this at first. Add in the problem of adapting to horrendous temperatures, getting up at four in the morning to beat the heat, and still seeing 100 plus degrees by mid-morning, and adjustment disorder doubles in size.
So I could defend myself by suggesting that I have lacked motivation. I could say that, for a time, there was dread each time I opened the door.
Yet the main reason I have not written is that I have become convinced that no one is interested. A strange phenomenon with social media is that we have become disinterested in what is really going on with others, tell me what you are doing and who with, but don't tell what you are thinking, and please, don't tell me what you are feeling. Now if it happens to be FB, and you posted that you were suicidal (for the record, I am not) only 25 or your friends would notice (if you posted in all caps, or a picture); they would not read if you simply wrote: "God help me, I want to kill myself." You'd have to pay to "reach a wider audience."
Then several things happened to change this: 1) the weather changed to glorious cooler temps, some rain, and the desert in bloom, and 2) on successive days I had visits on this website from someone in Canada, Germany and lastly China. I don't know what they were interested in, if interested at all, but it is an indication that there are still those out there who are interested in the written word, even in what another might be thinking or feeling, and unlike the shallow stalkers of FB, perhaps even care what might be going on with others, and maybe best of all interested.
Finally something extroardinary happened. With the change in weather, I began to see the beauty of the natural desert. Those scraggly bushes you see in summer, I think they are chaparral, produce yellow flowers. It is subtle, but also surprisingly attractive. There is also the descent off of the top of the hill on New River Road, a twisting, 30 plus mile per hour, through washes, 20 miles downhill to a little town of Vistancia, north of Sun City West.
I also found a 20 loop around the perimeter of Sun City West that is not only very safe, but interesting in a cultured desert sort of ways with an abundance of bright red Bouganvilliays, Lantana, and cactus, especially the Saguaro. The adjustment disorder ( I don't believe it is a real diagnosis) started to let go of it's grip, and eventually returned to where it came from. I once again feel a contentment, and a curiosity in this last phase of life.