I am living in one of those places I swore I never would. I ended up in the land of perpetual summer. I am far away from snow and cold and ice and rain. I ended up in the rocks and sand. I live and work in the desert.
I have to say, from the moment I set foot in this place, I was smitten. The desert carries with her a sense of wonder and awe, and yet she can kill you in an instant. The plants, the animals, the terrain, heck even the weather when it decides to really let go. This is a place of extremes, of contrast, of wonder and of grit. You have to be brave, resourceful and cautious to be here even in the modern age. Technology is limited, weather is what you see out your door, electricity works the majority of the time, and anything else is hours away.
Every day I see vast expanses of rocks and sand and trees. I see thorns on everything and cactus abound. Then, I see a bird or a hawk or a flower or a bloom. I shade my eyes to the sun and search desperately for a cloud. I see evidence of life in this most isolated of places. I noticed recently, during one of my explorations, that I am so far out airplanes do not even fly over. No contrails, no dot in an otherwise empty atmospheric ocean. I can literally hear a car coming for a mile and the loudest sound is the wind. In fact, you can hear that coming, too!
I often sit or stand outside to look, feel, listen. I can see Ursa Major and Minor, barely showing above the horizon. It is winter, which means cooler at night and yet still hot in the day. Not the winters of my past, but the winter of my present.
I know it will be well over 100 in the summer. I hear more around 110 to 120. Technically, my term here ends in April. I want to know this place, this desert, on a deeper level. I want to hike her canyons and explore her springs. I want to see the seasons change and watch her flex her muscle. She has peaked my interest and I want more.
I work at a job that lets me live here. I explore on my days off and extoll it’s virtues to the many visitors. I look forward to unraveling this place of secrets.
Cheers to the mysteries all around us. May they keep our interest, garner our respect, and bring wonder to our days.