When I was in elementary and middle school, I was an altar girl. They always had to save the shortest white robe for me. I liked the way the priest washed his hands before breaking the communion. Our priest always did it very slowly, with his lips moving in prayer. That's one of those things that you find so inexplicably beautiful at the time, but you don't know why, and thinking about it too hard might ruin it, so you just let it be beautiful. You know?
Anyway, the couple that "trained" the altar kids at my Catholic school held a "server appreciation party" for us every year at Halloween. They lived on this giant farm outside of Louisville, with a huge barn and rustic decor and a cornfield. The Halloween decorations were always spot-on and they had a huge bonfire and hay rides and carmel apples and everything Pinterest could ever want.
When I think of those parties now, I feel an actual ache. In my memories of them the sky is in a permanent state of dusk, blanketed in gray clouds; there's always a chilly breeze; a dog howling somewhere. Realistically it was probably just a bunch of 10-year-olds with sticky hands eating tootsie roll pops at 4 in the afternoon, but it still felt like magic.
So much more magic than today. Sunny, 80-degree today; with a slight breeze bending the palm trees. There are pumpkins on porches but I think they're embarrassed to be there.
(Honestly, how many times am I going to write about the weather? Somebody get me a xanax, am I right?!?!?! I MEAN!)
But you know what it is about weather? It's not the weather itself. It's the fact that it changes. Phoenix is nicknamed the "valley of the sun" because the sun shines over 300 days a year here. When I first moved here I marveled at that and tried to figure out why EVERYONE doesn't live here. (The margaritas alone make it worth it, maybe.) But then I realized I was in the middle of a very Lois Lowry-esque novel, where the thing you think is great turns out to be super creepy, and you start to realize WHY no one else lives here, but you're late to the party? And then the thing you thought was really a really great secret is not actually great at all but the impetus to your imminent destruction?
300 sunny days a year make it feel like Groundhog Day, is what I'm saying. I don't feel a day older than the day I moved here three years ago because it still feels like that same day. Same season, same everything. Dead lawns, high cooling bills. What am I doing here? Have I done anything? I need some damn rain so that I can know I'm moving forward. Towards what - I have no idea, but as long as it's not February 2nd again, I don't have to panic. You know?