Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lights in the Desert



I have a somewhat vague recollection of driving in Arizona about 15 years ago and suddenly coming upon a sprawl of lights in the desert.  It was night and I came over what must have been a high pass; one of those times when one is driving in desert darkness and has no reference point to one’s surroundings and has climbed several thousand feet without a clue.

In just a few seconds, the vision in front of me went from almost compete black to a blanket of twinkling lights of yellows and blues.  It was so unexpected that I felt like I was in a foreign continent, maybe somewhere in the Middle East.

The lights were flickering through the atmosphere that separated them from me by about 30 miles and I wondered what this city held inside of it; the unknown is so captivating. 

My approach took a little less than a half hour, and when I finally made it into the sea of lights, it all looked rather bland, like any typical small desert city.  Perhaps this is why I don’t recall what town it was.  It just wasn’t noteworthy in the end.  But it’s sudden appearance is burned into my mind.