i woke early when the low sun cast an orange beam of light over the dirt roads and hills.
it was cooler this morning, the air clear like glass.
i made my way to the park so i could walk in the morning shadows.
i heard no one. i saw no one. i passed no one.
the boulders pile on top of each other. they split and crack. leave spaces for thin slices of sky to be seen.
you can walk among them.
there are lots of rock climbers here. lithe young people with good knees and strong arms who scramble up the stacks.
after my morning jaunt i find some old place for breakfast.
i take my journal to write & drink coffee after i eat. yesterday a man next to me took all of the jelly packs out of the mason jar and stuffed them into his fatigue pockets. he looked over at me to see if i noticed. i kept jotting down details. waiting for the day i am called as a witness.
“what day was that again?” i’ll ask as i rifle through my books.
i will never report the jelly thief though. never!
today an elderly woman in the booth in front of me said, “i’m learning about these things i never knew about!”
i jotted it down.
i come home to my desert outpost and read. magazines, books, park guides, maps.
also i make rounds on the property. inspections and such. admiring the lovely desert garden all around.
sit in the glider and stare out at the hills.
yesterday evening a coyote trotted past on a nearby hill. i said something, but he didn’t answer.
i like spotting the big desert jackrabbits and smaller cottontails.
the desert is singing to me.
i am listening.
Love your writing. In fact, I think you are the only person that has ever made me think that I would like to live in southern California.
How do you find these wonderful places to stay? So nice to be part of the desert, rather than the parking lot of some chain hotel.
I just ordered two magazines, because you make me feel as if I need them… LOL!
Oh, this is poetry! It made me teary, moved me, made my breath tight in my chest. I had to read it a second time and again a third. I’ve bookmarked it and will be back to read it again.
You are living.
Carol K says
Your photographs are so beautiful. They really make me want to explore that desert world. “The desert is singing to me”……..love the feeling of that!
Susie LaFond says
Oh my goodness, your desert photos make me swoon….all those cacti everywhere… big sky, rocks, it all looks so peaceful and serene, with a dash of adventure thrown in for good measure. Years ago I read Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey and I became enthralled. Some day I will get there. For now I will enjoy the view from here.
Catherine Lucas says
We were there 1 weeks ago… Dang it, we could have met. If you drive outside the park to the West, there is a group of stones with modern graffiti, very colorful! I loved the Joshua Tree national park… If you ever want to come to New Mexico, we have a guest room free…
Oh, photos in black/white are awesome! The desert is so photogenic. There is nothing quite like a desert sunrise is there? I learned to be an early bird when I moved from the coast of southern CA to the Intermountain high desert of Nevada. Now I wouldn’t miss the sunrises for anything. A silent part of the day that smells wonderful, and is so silent. Love it.
Oh my, I am listening as well. Thank you for sharing these words and images, such a treat. Now I want to go visit these places of which you speak.
Connie Rose says
Every time you post photos of your desert adventures, I want to be in the desert! Alas, it’s way too far for me to drive to. So I’m “stuck” having to enjoy it through your eyes. I can always feel those dry desert winds on my skin. Wish I lived closer, had access. Oh well…Humboldt County is its own kind of paradise.
Have a glorious week. xo
That was beautiful, both words and pictures. Thank you.
Sandy Derryberry says
I love the stories you paint with words. I am listening too.
Very nice….amazing photos
Vicki in Michigan says
So glad you had this lovely heart-filling break!
Janet G says
what a lovely post–I can feel the slowness of life in the desert
Peggy McDevitt says
You are a gifted storyteller, always love reading your blog. Still making books because of your classes and heading into humble sketching. Have fun today.
I love that you share what goes on in your head – In words and paint. Yours is a delightful voice and it’s such fun to travel with you. Thanks for inviting us along.
Sharon chapman says
Just love what you write! I can picture you taking notes about the jelly thief.,just peaking over the top of your glasses taking casual glances at the perpetraitor. You made my day once again! I thank you?.
Linda J says
I think I’ve asked you before if you have read Byrd Baylor. That reminds me of THE WAY TO START THE DAY, or I’M IN CHARGE OF CELEBRATIONS!
Mary Ann Moss says
no, but you’ve stirred my curiosity..will investigate!
All that beauty and a glider too, definitely the good life! xox
jacki long says
Betsy Akins says
Looking at your photos I can feel the stillness there and admire the stark beauty. Your artistic eye inspires me.
amen to Dianes comments.
I loved this post. I think I read it three times. Beautiful , Mam.
Beautiful post, loved the jelly thief story. You should definitely write & illustrate a children’s story