“And the walls went to heaven / Into endless darkness / But the train lit up the sandstone …”

This morning we stood outside and watched the sun climb up over the Rincons, its bright rays shining off of mountains, trees, windows, a passing airplane.

From here on out the days will grow longer. And while I know that’s a mixed thing in the Southwestern United States, where summer means 105F/40C days, in the thin chill light of winter, it always seems welcome, just the same.

As we headed back inside, reasonably certain the sun was going to keep rising, bells began ringing. Later I realized they were marking the start of the Sandy Hook massacre, one week ago today.


But this week.

This week a Tucson refugee was reunited with the family he hadn’t seen for 13 years.

This week my local elementary school was removed from the school closure list.

This week photos revealed a jaguar in the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson.


At white horse yoga this solstice morning I leaned into the wind and out of the wind, surrounded by the Rincon Mountains, beneath the wide blue sky, and thought about the ways in which we sometimes fear the wind and sometimes ride it, and also about the role that laughter can play.

From here on out the days will grow longer.

Janni Lee Simner

About Janni Lee Simner

Janni Lee Simner is the author of the post-apocalyptic Bones of Faerie trilogy and the contemporary fantasy Thief Eyes, as well as four books for younger children, more than 30 short stories, and the script for the video game The Huntsman: Winter’s Curse. Check out her Writing Life Series for practical tools to hone your writing craft and unlock your creative power or join her email list for ongoing updates here.
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