In July God makes the Sonoran Desert relentlessly hot.
Temperatures rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit by noon – day after, after day, after day.
Neither plant nor creature gets to vote on the matter.
What’s a Saguaro Cactus to do? Move north and die?
Step outside at 4 or 5pm. Step outside at 9 or 10pm.
Feel your skin shrink in the 110-degree breeze.
By mid-July the Arizona desert enters the official monsoon season.
Storms frequently pop up in late afternoon.
Dry winds give humid air an uninvited entrance.
Under the shade of an expansive tan umbrella,
my forearms leave sweat marks on a black patio table.
By 3pm the creatures are in hiding.
A few humans, still in the fight, face the determined sun,
inhaling deeply from inside the cavernous oven.
Sunglasses cover eyes.
Long-sleeved shirts cover arms.
Hats cover heads.
Flaps connected to hats cover necks.
Two options present themselves.
Embrace the heat.
Join the flora and the fauna.
Give the Sonoran Desert its due.
Or curse the heat.
Clench your teeth.
Either way, hot air penetrates every bone.
Day after day it offers me the same, dogged question:
“Will you become a man of the desert today, allowing it to separate you from what you do not need and draw you to the Truth?”