There is a great beauty hidden in the desert that is slowly revealing itself to me. I’m an island girl. I do not like the desert. It feels foreign and ugly and most of all confusing. I keep asking it the ‘why’ question which I know cannot be answered.
Why are you so brown?
Why are you so flat?
Why is your weather so erratic? At once scorching hot, in turn freezing cold?
I have known burning heat, hail, tsunami winds, blinding dust waves and snow…. all in one day. WHY????
It is an enigma.
Each morning I climb into Linda’s van. Forsaking the familiar, I leave behind my Target and CVS, my adobe housed Whole Foods with gleaming “farm fresh” produce in exchange for the Dollar Stores, the single engined Fire Station, the Rodeo signs and the Feed stores. Miles and miles of sun- softened asphalt, the road ahead a deep slash across the back of this scorched earth, a cruel lash, long bled, now laid black and bare to the brutal sun. A graveyard belching rusted cars and double-wides, of dormant trees with no friends or leaves, of devil winds that blind and sting and strip the flesh from fallen bone.
The desert is a vast playground of endurance and patience and forgetting and of Faith. It would be so easy to get lost here. There is a brutal fierce God here. One that is truly indifferent to human joy or suffering. This desert God exists for Itself and I am welcome to stay or leave: It cares not. Upon this holy rollin’ road, death looms on either side. Buzzards feast on bloated flesh and still I wonder on. The watery illusion just ahead leads me, pulls me, lures me into the oblivion of timeless space and liquid silence. But beware my Lovely, one wrong turn will lead you to perdition.
But oh…. the desert nights beneath the velvet dome of sky so black it shrouds the earth. Here a soul can open up and be set free and unto Thee return. These desert stars explode and bloom and shower down in awesome Grace, and, in their thrall, I lose myself in dreamless sweet forgetting. Dust to dust…starlight and ashes this cunning dirt will take me Home.