By Mary Anne Andersen
Cedar City Arts Council
My daughter who lives along the shores of Utah Lake is in the process of selling her house. She was waiting for a showing a couple of days ago and said, “I hope they get here before the bugs come out.” I know what she meant: I have been there when the mosquitoes drove us in off the patio. I also know that the mosquitoes don’t drive me in when I sit on my patio here in Cedar City.
I love our evenings here. I have a few friends with whom I share sunset alerts. When the sky is unusually spectacular, I rush to the phone and tell them to step outside or go to their west windows. Last night the sun was a golden orb nestled precisely in a dip in the mountains far to the west. It occasioned a conversation between my husband and me about why you can look steadily at that sun and yet can’t look at an eclipse. The sun seemed to wait patiently for the science lesson to be finished before it started slowly sinking into its nest. It left reminders of its presence on the undersides of a few little clouds attending its withdrawal, as if leaving yellow post-its that said, “I’ll be back.”
During intermissions of the Shakespeare plays, I walk out onto the terrace overlooking the grounds below me. The grounds lights show the new gardens and trees that are noticeably larger since last year. They line the walkway to the west which passes the beautiful Randall Theater, the lobby full of warm lights and gift-shop treasures. I can see statue gardens and little carts selling treats. The heat of the day has passed and usually there is a little breeze. I say to myself, “I get to come to this place every summer for the rest of my life” and am supremely happy.
We went to Springdale to attend a concert by the Utah Symphony in the O.C. Tanner Amphitheater there. Now I admit it was hot, but it got cooler as the evening progressed. Southern Utah is full of those natural amphitheaters with huge monoliths enclosing small spaces where you feel protected and awed by the giants around you.
A stage was built there especially to host the Utah Symphony. It is open in the back so you see the towers behind and one of the premier symphonies in the country was there to play music we knew and loved, along with beautiful singers and a Native American flute player. Around us were lots of families with school-age children on cushions and older couples slowing mounting the steps. The reason there were so many people there is because it was free!
Afterwards, with “Claire de Lune” in our ears, we walked down the dark road to our car and watched a half moon play hide-and-go-seek with small clouds in its path. If a deer had stepped out of the trees, I’d have swooned with joy.