Saturday, May 2, 2015

Desert Flowers

I went for an early morning walk in the desert. Even in late April, the air in the desert retains some of the flavor of winter... there's nothing for it to cling to as the seasons blow past the dry earth in circles and cyclones. Desert-dwelling people have terms for this phenomenon, whereby you cannot smell the path of the sun. On cloudy days it could be June or October as yesterday and tomorrow hold hands in the wind. The Aborigines call it the Everywhen.

And that is everywhere I find myself today.

There is a magic in the desert: you've probably experienced it yourself. Some people like to cruise past it, windows rolled up and ears riveted towards the music of the hour or the podcast of last year. The expansive nature of the desert, the endless rolling, cracked hills of the same dusty and hollow plants is too grave for some of my friends, but for me the timelessness feels like home.

I feel old in the world. When I catch my reflection in a window, when my back and knees crack, when all of the students in my prenatal yoga class are ten years younger than I am. Last week a student at a local college approached me to ask if I lived in the dorm where I was attending a board meeting, and then quickly corrected himself and wandered along. The advertising on my social media platforms hones in on my saddest and most personal fears and struggles, ironically offering both infertility services and forums to discuss the challenges of motherhood. It's enough to make one grow thorns.

But here in the desert I find solace. I feel as young as I've ever felt and quiet enough to hear the wisdom that I've earned from years of emotional weather. The wind plays with my hair and guides me off the beaten path, urging me somewhere deeper into myself.

This is a special time in the desert, because the occasional rainfall inspires even the thorniest plants to bloom. I'm sure if you blow past at 60 miles per hour, you can't see the tiny blossoms, but they are there, closed off, surrounded Sleeping Beauty style by thousands of tiny swords. I'm sure when the wind dies down the bees will swarm in and predict the future of this landscape, carefully navigating the treacherous path as their selfish efforts leave important footprints.

Even the desert offers tiny promises of hope.

Reassurance that the rain came.

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