I have been thinking about the Nelson affinity for the desert.
Growing up, all my camping was done in the mountains. High in the mountains. All hikes were in or on mountains, striving to reach a summit: a final view, a massive payoff. We lived in the desert, my siblings and I often going on walkabout for hours at a time exploring the caves, mini dunes as desert life that surrounded our Highland House.
As my mind was meandering down these paths of thought, I began to filter through my memories of each. I seem to see symbolic presences that reflect the needs of my mind or soul that draws me to one destination or the other.
Why the desert over the mountain? Why the mountain over the desert?
Why sometimes does the heart yearn for the protective embrace of towering fatherly monoliths of stone, clothed in wildflowers, aspens, pine and evergreen trees, desiring the sound of dead leaves and dried pine needles crushing underfoot as the sun is kept from you by the shadow of these trees that loom overhead? What drives a heart to need the culmination of work, seen in the view from a great height when little seen from that far above makes any sense?
Why other times is the incredible heat of the desert more desirable? Why does one's heart cry out for the feel of slick rock beneath their sandals, of a river sloshing over and through their shoes? Why the pull to a land where green is rare and all is open to your sight: seeing for miles as you travel further down the path to your rest? Bathing in red and gold, how is it that the sun and the rock can heal the abrasions that living life day to day inflicts on our souls?
The answers are in the questions, as most answers are. Which do I prefer? It used to be mountains. I used to love lakes above all other bodies of water. Now my most powerful emotional connection is to rivers.
I am a lucky woman in that my Life Moments are varied. One at a beach. One at a lake in the Sierra Nevadas. One at a lake in the desert. Another in a river in the desert. My soul finds moments of complete wholeness with nature
It's true that I am rambling on about my love for the Earth. Perhaps because although it is still winter, yesterday I smelled spring. Everything outside my window is muddy and ugly, but the smell of spring reminded me how awesome the earth is. My favorite things are coming around again:
Green on trees
walks to the park to sit in the grass and watch my children play.
Planting a garden
Tending a garden
The fourth of July
The twenty fourth of July
Bonfires in my parent's back yard
Eating corn (watching my children eat corn)
Finding ways to use apricots.
Eating fresh vegetables
Summer visits from family
Tubing down a river
Wading in a river
and new this year: I look forward to seeing the desert.
Thanks for the continuing education, Nelson clan.