This week we asked you to take us somewhere. Where was up to you -fiction or creative nonfiction- but we asked you to use your words to paint the setting as vividly as possible. In 200 words.
Just off of Aravaipa in south-central Arizona is a cool, fragrant canyon. It's a gash in the desert, shaded from the harsh reality of the arid, rocky, cactus-ridden challenge above. Sheer rock walls angle over the canyon floor. Cottonwood and Sycamore trees filter the sunlight. In the autumn, those trees drop colorful, oval leaves and turn the blue granite boulders into mosaics of color.
A lazy creek wanders from one side of the canyon wall to the other, ambling back and forth like a child chasing a butterfly. Coatis run amok in the canyon, a gang of noisy delinquents. I don't speak Coati, but if I did, I bet I'd be shocked at the names they call each other. Canyon Wrens stay above the fray and let their liquid songs fill the canyon. Dainty prints of whitetailed deer in the mud tell me that the little gray ghosts stopped to drink, before darting back up to the desert hills above. Black bears amble back and forth between canyon and desert, eating whatever looks good on nature's salad bar.
It's a quiet place, ancient and delicate. If you listen carefully, you can hear the echoes of the ones who walked here before: Hohokams, Mogollons, Saladoans, settlers and ranchers and Basque sheep herders. The sounds of the bawling cattle, bleating sheep and even the sounds of a massacre have faded away to a whisper....a whisper of a road less traveled.
Always, feel free to comment! Trish in AZ