Four years. Four years is a long time. It’s 1,460 days. It’s the length of a presidential term, or the number of years you spend in high school, or in college. It’s the beautiful and messy culmination of love, compassion, understanding, and downright hard work that created our relationship today. Days of arguing and screaming at the top of my lungs, days of tear stained faces, days of ridiculous laughter that led to belly aches, days of intense conversation where we explored each other’s deepest fears and dreams, and days of supreme joy, a feeling I had never felt until I met her. And for all of this, we celebrated. We jetted off to Sedona, Arizona for a much needed weekend getaway. As intern year progresses, we find ourselves occasionally drifting apart, as we barely have time to hit the highlights of the day before we must hit the sack or pay the next day. There are weeks that we might pass each other for ten minutes once every few days, as we are on opposite schedules, one working days, the other nights. And when we have lighter weeks, working in clinic rather than the hospital, we are so sleep deprived that we sleep more than we communicate. The drudgery of work was taking its toll on us, as December neared. The romantic weekend was an absolute must, integral to reconnecting during a year full of stress, which left us both emotionally drained on a daily basis.
We initially had planned two full days of hiking, in order to make the most of our short stay in red rock country. We awoke on Saturday morning in utter shock. It was snowing. We didn’t even bring pants to hike in and the thought of dredging through the bitter wet cold to vistas that we couldn’t even appreciate due to fog quickly annihilated our previous plans. We instead opted to lavishly enjoy our three-course breakfast, cozy and warm by the flames licking the adobe walls of the fireplace. We drove the scenic loop, stopping at various points to take photographs. My initial upset about the snow quickly vanished as I took note of the pristine snow lining the red rock edges, the contrasting colors highlighting nature’s beauty. Frost bitten cacti were a sight I thought wasn’t possible. The overhanging fog added a mystical quality to Sedona’s vibe, augmenting the flowy hippie appeal of the town with its many art galleries, psychic reading studios, and spas.
As the sun made its way across the sky, the fog cleared and the snow melted, unveiling cerulean blue skies behind deep red rock formations. The structures looked vastly different and the desert appeal resumed its ownership of the land. After exploring the outdoors, we headed into various art shops that sold local handmade goods. We glanced through art galleries, flipped through photographs, admired sculptures, and surveyed traditional turquoise jewelry. We even made time for a spa trip and enjoyed deep tissue massages that worked out our bodies’ response to the strain of the year. As muscle knots were worked out by day, we delved into our relationship’s strains by night, culminating in a relaxing, rejuvenating, and forgiving weekend that we desperately needed.