Tuesday, October 27, 2009

musings on the desert

I grew up in a soft, green, wet, humid, cool (and sometimes cold), world of old mountains. I thought I had traveled as far from there as possible to my present home in a (still) green, drier land of newer mountains and hills, flat lands and ocean.

The other day I visited yet another world: of high desert, Joshua Trees, cacti, drought loving (not merely tolerant) plants with alien shapes. Driving by at 70 mph you see merely a blur of what is not -- not green, not wet, not "pretty", certainly not soft.

Stop to wander, carefully, look closely; beauty in a new and strange form. Not soft, oh no. Edgy; dangerous even, for the unwary. Hot, unmerciful sun; relentless wind; no place for the careless, casual tourist.

Carry water; remember to drink it. The very air will suck your body dry and leave the husk behind, a curiosity for the next tourist to wonder over.

Home again, in the soft land, I count the days until I can return. Part of my soul was left behind and it wanders the box canyon, waiting for me.