I like to listen to our local community radio station, KXCI, and awhile back, I heard a short show called “Growing Native with Petey Mesquitey.” It runs just a few minutes, and features a craggy-voiced Petey Mesquitey waxing lyrical about his desert wanderings.
The first time I heard it, I kind of snickered about the whole thing, and giggled at his name, because, seriously, who gets that excited about cacti and lizards? Petey Mesquitey, evidently. But every time he’s come on since, I’ve turned up the radio, stopped thinking about whatever was running on the hamster wheel in my head, and listened, and somehow I feel better when I do. It’s a break from the music, a break from the news and the noise, and I am struck by Petey’s sheer enthusiasm for his topic du jour. It is very sweet, guileless, and completely without irony. And I don’t get enough of that, day-to-day.
We live in a cynical world, where too often people strive to be cool, to be bored and jaded, and so very above it all, “all” being things they might do well to get down and dirty with once in awhile, and it’s easy to be apathetic about amazing wonders and tiny miracles right in your own town, or your own yard, for that matter. But Petey isn’t having it. When I listen to the joy and undiminished wonder in his voice as he describes his surroundings, I am reminded again what an interesting place I live in, in an interesting world. I’m reminded that I don’t necessarily need to travel the world to appreciate it; I just need to pay attention. There is plenty to see and appreciate, but easy to forget to do it.
If for you, like me, the news seems too weighty and fraught with too much wrong, the election season is already way too long and nasty, and the whole world seems like it’s strapping itself into an ill-fated handbasket, I invite you to give a listen to Petey’s show, this one about the western box turtle. Just take a break and enjoy someone being excited about something simple. It’s refreshing like a cold lemonade in the middle of monsoon season.