Central Yuma County blows dust and dirt and grit into swirling patterns of eye irritant, replete with lung clogging matter. But through that haze of earthen spray comes sunlight on display, radiant color spectrum agape, playing lead to this sandy grist.

When hot and dry, the searing stinging combination make for cuss words seldom heard. But when night approaches the wind tails off, the shine of the sun lies horizon seeking. The birds will tell you if you listen close that this is the time that they like most, this and daybreak share a freshness beyond that of the city, state, or concrete place.

Not for the timid, not for the lightweight, but a cocoon worthy of the softest butterfly. Challenge waits at each clock tick when will peace turn into risk. Coyote stalking unnamed sources, for food and fuel and ancient purpose, all in Yuma County time.

As you wander thereabouts, Joes and Kirk and Idalia call to you along with Eckley, Wray and Laird. All small towns named for strong people who walked those trails of Yuma County. There are miles of fields and miles of two lanes that have long ago been forgotten, but the sense of pride and spirit thrive in the hearts of those who call it home.

Stand real still and hear the world as the moisture is sucked away. Stand real still and listen to the grasshoppers as they begin to swarm. And stand still as best you can as the freight train called tornado chugs right to your door. When all is said and not much done, ponder the place you live. Yuma County's not easy land but its strength comes from its stand.

Bless those souls that traveled here and those who stopped and stayed. For they've given us the resilient heart to know we can make it in the face of a Yuma County Summer.

© 2006 - Tom Lance
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