My backyard, sort of. 

For no particular reason, it started as a very bad day. From the moment that my feet hit the floor just before sunrise there was the overwhelming sense that I was in a pressure cooker. 
It was one of those mornings that even the usually pleasant sound of quail on the fence was magnified to an irritating screech similar to fingernails drawn along a chalk board. Underlying the frustration was the fact that that there was no reason on Earth why I should feel burdened so heavily as my dearest friend and I are quite fortunate. 
I attempted the mornings German lesson and that just made thing worse. So, I decided that I needed a very large dose of the magic elixir that is a long, quiet walk. No email, no phone, just thoughts, a bit of open space, and sitting quietly imitating a rock in a stream as the bustle of the world swirls around you.
Anything done without my dearest friend leaves me feeling as though I forgot my pants or glasses. This time, however, the pressures were so intense I knew that a short stroll could turn into a very long walk, which it did, so I flew solo.  

Historic Kingman as viewed from on high.

Fortunately, I live in Kingman, Arizona, an almost magical place. This means that even though suburbia in the form of new streets, the golf course, hotel construction, traffic and the spreading of subdivisions press in all around me, in less than a mile from my home there is the eerily quiet illusion that I am immersed in a vast desert wilderness. 
Only thoughts of my dearest friend, and the rude intrusion of graffiti marred an otherwise perfect day. 
I was so engrossed in thought that the golf course stretching along the highway and washing up against the ancient parapets of stone at the canyon mouth, and the estates that border it had given way to the desert itself before there was really an awareness. There is a reason that the prophets of old spent time alone in the vast, raw beauty of the desert. 
After stopping by the office in the historic Dunton Motors Building (I try to do this at least every week), I began strolling the streets in the cities historic heart without thought as to destination or direction. I found a bench in the shade, shook a rock out of the boot, discovered a small blister forming (note to self, heavier socks), sipped a bottle of water, and allowed the infectious excitement and enthusiasm that is new construction and renovation wash over me. 

Kingman is reawakening, the historic district reminds me of the story about the mythical Phoenix rising from the flames. A renaissance has transformed Beale Street between Fourth and Fifth Street and it is now sweeping east and west. 
There are still a few business owners who operate from buildings with bordered over windows, weathered facades, and an array of abandoned vehicles littering their property. However, a rather dramatic influx of investors with vision, some from Europe, the enforcement of ordinances, and a palpable sense of excitement are changing everything. At every turn you can see buildings being revitalized and re purposed.
Sidewalk cafes bustle during lunch, and in the evening, seating at the microbreweries and bistros is a valued and scarce commodity. Time spent on the bench, watching the world go by, lunch at Floyd and Company Barbecue ($6.00 special, delicious barbecue pork sandwich, coleslaw, and tea) where I was privileged to talk with folks relocating from Dallas to Berkeley. How refreshing it is to hear praise your adopted hometown with sincerity!

With the exception of a blister, somewhat alleviated with a stop at Walgreens, I arrived home to hug my dearest friend a bit tired but none the worse for wear. Even better, I felt renewed after the 7.3 mile odyssey.
Once again, I was ready to joust with windmills, take on the world, challenge dragons, and wrestle chimps.