I’ve been walking in the desert, literally and figuratively. Having lived in the Southwest several years ago, I used to view the landscape as void, arid; a desolate, lonely place. Since then, my viewpoint has changed, having unearthed a few things about the scorched region.
|Craggy rocks and spine-filled cactus|
The desert is a parched place, which causes us to seek quenching nourishment. Life-sustaining water is essential and found in the most unusual places; the tiny crevice of a rock which has collected morning dew, or hidden in the innermost part of a barrel cactus.
Ambling on, I’ve found exquisite, subtle, rough beauty; catching a glimpse of a hummingbird gleaning nectar from a cactus bloom or the cloud play on the ground as fair weather cumulus float overhead; rock outcroppings and elusive wildflowers after a cloud burst. With a close look you discover the desert is teeming with wild life such as burros, mountain goats, scaly lizards and gossamer butterflies, not to mention creepy bugs, wooly tarantulas and snakes which make my skin crawl.
Solitary, but not lonely is an accurate depiction of this wilderness. Lonely implies that something is missing, whereas solitude is a time to think and quiet our minds and souls, a respite for our being.
I love the desert and grasp onto time spent there. Don’t get me wrong, the embrace is not warm and friendly, it’s rather poignant and pointed like a Prickly Pear. However, even a Prickly Pear has things to offer: delicately sweet jam or nopales with its green bean-like flavor.
As you trod this planet and find the waterless, burnt fragments be at rest, absorb the scenery, and dine on succulent vegetables and cactus-scented jam.
Life is good in the lush Willamette Valley…and in the bone-dry stretches ~ Missy