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A Peace of Summer

A Peace of Summer - Etched Summer Issue 2015

IMG 3986In a land of vast open fields, soaring canyons, and colorful deserts, the southwest is illuminated by the sun’s desire to linger a little longer in the summer. That’s a poetic way of saying, “It’s hot here!” Let’s face it, there are about 60 days of extremely warm temperatures in the region, that give way to ten months of “simply fabulous.” But, I for one, can’t imagine being cooped up in air-conditioning all day long during the time when the desert is showcasing its most distinctive characteristics.

Life goes on as usual for us desert dwellers during the summer while tourism reaches its peak. An early morning hike along the red cliffs or paddleboarding into the sunset on one of the local lakes is just part of the lifestyle. Yet, there is still that thing called “work” that happens to the best of us. I often sidetrack business meetings to a nearby trail finding greater clarity and creative energy in the fresh air. Then there are those other meetings that require my presence to belly-up to a conference table. Those meetings are a little harder for me to sit through.

A while back I was asked to attend a “Round Table” meeting with regional professionals to review economic and environmental impacts. This meeting I looked forward to. My commitment to sustainable growth and environmental preservation has deep roots. Having done my research, I arrived to the conference prepared to engage in the discussion. I gazed around the table and was reminded of the professional setting I had left behind long ago. It wasn’t the people – they were charming, intelligent, and passionate leaders. But it was the monochromatic dress code that caught my eye. My brightly flowing maxi skirt and flip flops made me stand out like a bowl of vanilla yogurt with a single strawberry on top. And then I remembered the saying my dear friend, Carmen, instilled in me years ago. “It’s better to be looked over than overlooked.”

I was reminded in that conference room of how grateful I am to be a part of the small, independent business community. More importantly, I counted my blessings that I had finally outgrown the need to fit into the mold – my own expectations are enough. I am at peace. And my presentation that day was executed with perfection (and I’m sure my flowing skirt was dazzling).

Southern Utah’s own Krissa Beatty was recently crowned 2015 Miss Utah. I caught a clip of an interview she did following the pageant. When asked about her crowning moment and whether she was surprised, she replied, “I have focused and prepared for this moment for years. When it came down to the end, I knew it was my time.” She owned it – her truth, her success, her hard work, and dedication. She did it her way.

The Summer issue of Etched Magazine is filled with the people and places that stand out amongst the landscape of the southwest. The believers, the dreamers, the visionaries…the people who skipped the norm and forged their own history. The pages of Etched are a celebration of regional festivals and events that rock their own creative uniqueness. And then there’s adventure – a signature of the southwest lifestyle.

There are many flowing skirts hanging in my closest these days. Each with a matching pair of flip flops. Sometimes I wear my Jimmy Hendrix shirt with them. Wherever your journey leads, keep it real. And don’t forget to take a peace of summer with you.

Darci Hansen - Editor in Chief