Sunday, March 9, 2008

Continuing Education

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

My birthday

walks to the park to sit in the grass and watch my children play.

Planting a garden

Tending a garden

The fourth of July

Cherry Days

The twenty fourth of July

Lake Powell

Bonfires in my parent's back yard

Picking peaches

Eating corn (watching my children eat corn)

Eating outside

Crocheting outside

Reading outside

Finding ways to use apricots.

Writing outside

Eating fresh vegetables

Sleeping outside


Summer visits from family

Tubing down a river

Wading in a river


Hiking sandals


and new this year: I look forward to seeing the desert.

Thanks for the continuing education, Nelson clan.


WildBound said...


Desertbound said...

I hope I've been a small part of the continuing education. I know you have been a big part of mine:)

Sayyadina said...

Uh, yeah! (duh)
When you were all on the hike to Broken Bow, Dreampacker asked if I was still scared to be out in the wilderness on a lake (in so many words.) I told her that I was simply amazed at how little I knew about being in the out doors. But I only knew I knew so little because there were you and WB and DB and all who knew SO MUCH. I told her I felt safe because I was with all of you. So, yes. A big part of the CE.

Tristan said...

Great questions, great things to ponder on. You put into words some things I can't. Thanks again!

Bethany said...

It is just because we are all power freaks and when you pound your body against immovable rock you balance your power chakras. hee hee

Or... we just think it's pretty.

PS We all love the mountains also. Again, back to immovable rock. But I correct myself. We do move mountains and rock. One step at a time. It's a beautiful thing.