Dragon season

Right now it’s 100 degrees outside, and you can hear the ice finally breaking up out on the Santa Cruz River.

On this morning’s walk, I could already feel the heat building. 8 a.m. isn’t early anymore–it’s late, because the sun is up, the air warm. I looked around, and I saw the clouds of the last few days were gone, only a faint haze remaining to dull the edge of gray mountains against endless blue sky. Soon, 7 a.m. won’t be early either.

Later, I went out and felt a familiar hot breeze against my arms. “The dragon’s back,” I thought, and I stood a moment beneath the sun, feeling–welcoming–the heat on my arms, knowing it will grow stronger in the weeks ahead. I didn’t stand outside for too long, though–it doesn’t do to take foolish chances, when a dragon is about.

We know this dragon. We adapt to it. If we move a little bit slower in the weeks ahead, if we’re retreat to the earliest and latest parts of the day–it’s only because that’s how one lives, in dragon country. We’ve adapted, you see.

We respect the dragon, fear it just a little. Yet if the dragon didn’t come, we would miss it, and our year would feel broken, incomplete. Dragon season is a harsh season, but harshness has beauty, and something inside rises to meet it.

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