Spring in El Paso

Oh, the wonder of nature
Oh, the wonder of nature

The wind chuffs at a respectably constant 20+ miles per hour, with occasional gusts of forty or fifty or sixty. Personal property, including real estate, is arbitrarily redistributed according to the whims of what they call out west Mariah.

In El Paso, we are relatively safe from the ravages of natural disaster. Tornados never carve the county like a meth head with a jackknife at a high school prom. The river never jumps its concrete banks to flood our business district. We’ve no angry earth manifesting itself with tremors, sinkholes, or volcanoes.

All we have is a nagging wind, tugging at our shirtsleeves like an annoying, petulant, little sister.

Today the dust is so thick that I can’t see the Sierra Juarez. So I’m not offended by the new religious graffito the zealots have whitewashed on the mountain.

50 years, it says. That’s the part I can make out. The rest is lost in the folds of the mountain from where I live.

The famous Jewish philosopher said that if you’ve got a candle, don’t put it under a basket. But the graffito isn’t about Jesus. It’s aggrandizing a ministry. I’m sure that qualifies as one of the seven deadly sins, and a good prosecutor could probably shoehorn the grievance into a couple more.

If Juarez was in Oklahoma, some other zealots would by now have painted a pentagram onto the mountain, probably most appropriately with the blood of virgins. The Dark Lord may even be behind the latest insult to nature. He, too, works in mysterious ways.

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