I’ve been away from D.C. for the last four days. I was invited to speak at an 8th grade promotion for American Indian students in Arizona (and I may or may not post my speech, as I said some things that non-Native readers may consider controversial or even incomprehensible). I was also able to spend some time with friends and family. Arizona is beautiful, but the heat is overwhelming. The first thought I had when we landed yesterday was how lovely it is to see clouds and feel a cool breeze. The second thought I had was, I love D.C.!
I came back with three gifts: a painted gourd fashioned into a rattle (that I’m told the students did themselves) and a group picture of the 8th grade class set in a hand-painted frame, and my cousin Maurice. Maurice, 19, will spend the summer here. Yesterday, he quietly attended the MC Awards Ceremony where many of my colleagues and I presented outstanding writing students with the English department awards. Then as we drove through Georgetown, he marveled at how many people were walking around the city. Arizona has a thriving car culture that makes walking seem like a chore; here, it is a necessity and a joy.
I’m excited to show the city to someone who can see it with fresh eyes; doing so renews my affections for the place I call home.