Desert Afternoon

Walking in the wash at the bottom of King Canyon, we stop beneath a gnarled ironwood tree. Its silver-brown roots and branches lift deep green leaves into a startling blue sky. Saguaros, old and young, rise all around. We have stood here before.

“Sometimes when you’re my age,” Michal says, “you’re able to take things in differently.”

We turn and look into each other’s eyes. After a little while, we walk on. I listen to our footsteps on the ancient sand. There is no other sound.