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Editor’s Letter – September 2020

By John Roark

Photo by Jesse Reiser

I am not embarrassed to say it: I love living here. When I relocated from Colorado, I knew very little about Arizona other than the fact that blizzards would not be a consideration and I would never have to scrape ice off my windshield again. I arrived in August, and I clearly remember stepping outside of Sky Harbor International Airport after sunset. In the dark, the heat felt like an embrace and, without knowing why, I instantly thought, “I’m home.”

While I still prefer four months of triple-digit temperatures over even one week of freezing winds and shoveling snow, by this time of year, even for me, the intense heat has worn out its welcome. And along with everything else we are currently grappling with, the relentless swelter adds one more element to the mix that can have us feeling restless and stuck. It used to be that if we needed an escape, we could just book a flight to a cooler destination. Today, even getting into the car for a weekend away may be more complicated than it’s worth.

This is the time of year when we know that relief is just around the corner, when we wait patiently for the thermometer to dip, signaling the return of what many of us love most about Arizona. The weekend I wrote this letter, we finally had our first measurable precipitation in more than 100 days. Many Phoenicians felt a huge sense of gratitude and relief. Social media exploded as Valley residents posted photos celebrating ominous skies and gushing downspouts.

The next morning, my dog and I were out early, taking in the natural beauty of the desert, breathing deeply and savoring the nuances of creosote and mesquite in the air. Even pavement smells good after a summer shower. As I often have in my 25 years as a resident, I felt grateful that my path brought me to this beautiful place.

In the spirit of optimism, this issue is dedicated to what many of us look forward to every year: summer’s end. The return of open windows, long sleeves and spending time outdoors. We hope you’ll join us in bidding farewell to summer and welcoming the new season.

John Roark
Editor in Chief


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