A Day for the Soul – A Day in Phoenix

I believe that there are several aspects to a person’s well being, and to be fully healthy one must be mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually well. Every once in a while I have the opportunity to experience a day that is just simply good for the soul. This Sunday was one of those days.

This weekend I made the relatively short trek down to Phoenix to see a good friend who was in town visiting his friends and fellow graduates of Arizona State University for Labor Day. A former resident of the Valley of the Sun, he was excited to suggest a few spots in Tempe for us to spend the day.

My goal for the day was simple: no real plans, no stress, no work, no worries, and no rush. I was excited to simply relax with a good friend and enjoy a few sights and places that I’d never seen before.

The first place we visited was the Desert Botanical Gardens in Tempe. Until I spent a reasonable amount of time in the desert, both in Arizona and California, I couldn’t really see its beauty beyond its stark desolation and lack of vegetation. I have slowly grown to recognize and admire desert beauty, and the botanical gardens exhibited how beautiful the desert can truly be, even when it’s about 100 degrees outside, which it was.

We could have enjoyed it a little longer, but the heat drove us onto Mill Avenue, and into some cool stores and restaurants. We stopped in an awesome Irish Pub for lunch. It went really well until I suddenly came down with what I assume was heat sickness. I went from talking and laughing to sheet white, weak, and trembling, with a headache, dizziness, and nausea in just about a split second. After about five glasses of water, some saltines, and a mixed drink of ginger ale and Sprite, I was as good as new, with a new respect for the heat of the desert. It was the first time I have been so affected by the heat. Next time I’ll drink more water.

From Mill Avenue we journeyed to the Phoenix Art Museum, where we strolled through several inspiring, thought provoking, and beautiful exhibits. My favorite piece of art was the abstract sculpture that didn’t really look like anything from a distance, but when you stood in one particular spot, the entire thing came together as a U2 aircraft. It was so exciting. I definitely had an uber nerd moment.

From a distance it looks like an strange abstract piece of modern art

From a distance it looks like some strange abstract piece of modern art

But when you look at it from the right angle, it becomes a U2. Pretty cool, huh?

But when you look at it from the right angle, it becomes a U2. Pretty cool, huh?

After that he showed me around ASU, and a few of the places he used to frequent, then we ended with day with dinner with one of his friends at this awesome restaurant, with melt in your mouth steaks, good company, and great conversation. I went out and bought Friedrich Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morals today, if that gives you any idea of how deep the dinner conversation went. All in all, the day seemed to rejuvenate the soul and made me ready to take on my week.

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