We crossed three washes with a foot of water flowing through. Markers indicated that five feet was not unusual. Flash floods were frequent.
Mesquite had been brought in for a campfire. Food was being prepared. The rain stopped. The land dried quickly. A group of us sat on a hillside and watched the sun sink into the plains -- a sun, round and orange in a lavender sky.
At dusk, I knelt in the brown clay, dried and cracked, and rubbed it between my hands -- a healing balm. Desert music of mourning doves and crickets began. Two ravens flew above the canyon. I looked up and suddenly remembered O'Keefe. This was her country. Her watercolor Canyon with Crows came back to me. It was an animated canvas. I wondered if Georgia had knelt where I was, rubbing the same clay over her hands and arms as I was, some seventy years ago?
It was time for the fireside.