Tucson, Arizona, USA
Two p.m.: bright afternoon clouds from horizon to horizon; in the distance, cold colors of the Santa Cruz Mountains; apparently that's where I'm headed. This view always roils a deep pool of melancholy in me, but I keep walking.
When I reach a former foster home I drop in, only to find no trace of my year-long domicile of fifty winters back: only the gnarled live-oaks, once secret sharers of my dreams, remain in what's now an upscale neighborhood.
Mountain blues and purples fade; still I press on through fields of poppies, lupine, and yellow fennel exuding odors of licorice.
Then I'm in the mountains for the first time since glimpsing them from a perch on my step-grandfather's shoulders, so many summers ago.
My melancholy vanishes; taking its place, a pleasant sense of well-being that I've achieved my goal.
It doesn't last long . . . . Now a stronger feeling of disappointment—no, of being cheated—sweeps it away.
the dawn star