More than Just a Wall

December 1, 2009
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Within the boundaries of my front yard lies a low wall, a prime workmanship of brick and mortar. This wall is not much to behold and it does not serve any immediate purpose, as it is there mainly for design. In fact, its importance is only apparent at the most exclusive of times. For instance, the way this stout, light brown wall is crafted makes it perfect for sitting on. Although its original function is purely aesthetic, I am able to establish a more meaningful use of it than one might originally think.

In Arizona, where this place is located, the average temperatures are considerably high. Because of this, many people are skeptical of how I could possibly find refuge in a scalding outdoor environment. I, too, have taken this into consideration, and my simple solution is to not sit outside while scorching temperatures are present. In truth, I only prefer this area occasionally, when it is a relatively cool day, or at night when the sun is not beating down on the earthen terrain. Once in a while, as I sit out in the evening air, I feel the cool winds flow by me, the soothingly soft touch of nature on the rough, dry lands of the Sonoran Desert. I also feel the delicate coolness of my family’s nearby garden seeping up through the atmosphere, mitigating the parched air. With these factors are included, this area actually has quite a nice climate.

There is a surprisingly great amount of scenery, considering that this place is simply within a housing development. Observing the items on the street itself is interesting enough to be considered an activity. However, the greatest element of this picture becomes apparent when you glance up and see that you have the entire vast expanse of the starry night sky to enjoy. What else can you peer into and become genuinely lost in wonder and thought? And although one may think gazing into the infinity of space is enough of a view for anyone, a majestic cluster of mountains in the distance provides yet another wonderful distraction. But with my mind in such faraway places, I tend to forget about the nearby surroundings. Close by there is a small array of desert shrubbery and some weathered, rocky landscaping. Looking around, I begin to see that I’m not just sitting in a suburb seeing the night fly by me; I’m seeing the beauty of Earth in a few of its many forms.

Even as the other senses overwhelm me, there is nothing more comforting than the soft sounds one can hear at night. Just as I feel the wind pass over me, there is the sound of white noise, of air curving around obstacles, passing within a close proximity of the behemoths we call houses. Most of the resonance that occurs at night time is a quiet, vibrant humming, or an unsteady beating of a bird’s flapping wings. And even hearing all of these sounds, there’s also that calming man-made automation of sprinkler systems activating, and the spontaneity of cars innocently rumbling by. Amidst this hushed bubble of sound, I find that this is the best place to hear and feel the thoughts that cross my mind from time to time.

One of the greatest assistants to an active and open mind is the neutral smell of standard evening air. The night air can be somewhat attributed to an almost sweet scent, wafting gently upwards. Sometimes, during seasons where the plants are healthy and strong, you can feel the moisture floating up from the delicate earth and leaves. Typically, smell is not often commented upon unless it is either extraordinarily pleasant or shockingly foul, but in the case of my “sanctuary”, the neutrality of the scents around me is unusually noteworthy.

Every aspect of this small area in a large and immeasurable universe is, in its own sense, perfect. We each live a different life, and therefore it is necessary for each of us to find a place that complements the way we handle stress. For me, the front yard of my home is a very calming component in my life. It allows me to relieve stress and spend time having quality thought. There are few elements in this world that could make such a scene better. Yet, a figure such as this can only be found after one obtains the sagacity to realize that something they may have been taking for granted is much more meaningful than it was originally perceived to be.





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