…partly because I feel guilty for being in a warm beautiful place where the sun is shining and my white-as-a-ghost skin is beginning to tan for the first time in 9 months, while all of my friends are freezing their keesters off back home in the winter that never ends…
…and partly because the girls and I are vacationing in the very epicenter of American Eco Ignorance- in San Tan Valley in the middle of the terraformed Arizona dessert. It’s sunny and hot in April- beautiful weather really and I have to say that we’ve been taking full advantage of this summer land to do all of the things we haven’t been able to for such a long time: swimming, strolling, playing at the park without layers of clothing…. but I have to admit, when it comes to vacationing in the heart of the Arizona dessert, the word cognitive dissonance come to mind in a very guilt-inducing way.
I have it on good authority that if it weren’t for the diversion of a major American river, life in the middle of this desert-land would be unbearable. Water- or the lack of it- is what defined the habitat out here. Suffice it to say that every time I turn on the tap I feel bad. We are vacationing in a place (albeit a very beautiful place) where water shouldn’t be and that shakes me. The other concerns I have out here are that everything is far away and requires a gas-guzzling trip via SUV (I don’t people out here drive anything else) and in the community where we are staying, there is marginal recycling. (Here I must add that there is a need for the garbage truck to circulate twice weekly but there is no curbside recycling to speak of and the bins down the street are only for paper).
And so it’s been a vacation of opposites, the thrill and delight of getting away from the eternal winter back home (the snow was still three feet high when we left) and spending precious time with family I don’t see nearly enough and the guilt of endorsing a substandard recycling status quo and participating in an unsustainable lifestyle in the middle of the desert. Isn’t that life? It’s hard to do everything right all the time (or anytime for that matter). And so sometimes it helps to not overthink things (as I have a tendency to do) and just enjoy the stuff that matter most, family, health and sunshine. And so here we are, enjoying ourselves quite thoroughly. Drinking iced lattes, slathering ourselves with SPF 60 and tip-toeing around possible scorpion haunts.
I’ll have to recycle extra when I get home.