Sunday, November 10, 2013
The Passage Of Time
When the days grow cold in Santa Fe, at least once a year, Heidi Of The Mountains decides that we will go visit her parents in their second home in Sun City, Arizona. They spend time there when the temperatures are perfect, which is usually between late October and end of April. At other times, it can be blistering hot and nobody goes outdoors.
On our way from New Mexico, we take highways that go near the Grand Canyon, and this time we stopped there on our wedding anniversary. It is only three hours from Phoenix, but the elevation is higher and the temperatures are much lower—below freezing at night now. It is such an inspiring place—an open book on the passage of earthly time. We rented bikes and rode along trails that border the rim, stopping often at lookouts that offered breathtaking views.
Sun City is a retirement community that is within the Phoenix metropolitan area. It is very clean and quiet, with trim houses of five different designs lining the mostly empty streets. The minimum age to own a home is 55. Children are rarely seen, and for that matter the place seems rather empty, with life limited to the golf courses and shopping areas. Furthermore, it is entirely homogenous, since it is essentially white retirees, and mostly second homes—poor people are not around.
A wealthy community of old people with no diversity feels odd to me. On the other hand, it is entirely safe and folks passing by in their golf carts always wave hello. Yet the safety is bought, and comes from being insulated from outside society.