Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Desert bliss

I don't remember ever caring about the desert.  My few trips were hasty ones, passing through as if the desert terrain was merely to be endured until reaching our final destination--the mountains, the ocean, etc.

A few years ago we began traveling to the Scottsdale-Phoenix area to watch the SF Giants in Spring Training.  Our third trip in four years concluded on Tuesday and I realize that the greatest "high" for me in our eleven days away was NOT the SF Giants (they lost three of the four games we watched!) nor the great restaurants we ate at (don't miss Banderas in Scottsdale), but the beauty and the majesty of the desert.

Someone once remarked to me, "You have to be really old and bored to enjoy the desert!" I qualify in at least fifty percent of that equation--and I am not bored!--but I confess I have come to love the desert.  We have hiked many miles over its terrain and just last week climbed a small but challenging mountain trail in Usery Park near Mesa, Arizona.  I was overwhelmed by its quiet beauty and astonished again by how small vibrant flowers can grow literally out of rock formations on  the dry desert floor.  The giant saguaro cacti and the prolific yellow flowers that dotted the landscape against  brown and green desert flora and fauna was exhilarating to examine and contemplate.

Some of the early mystics wandered off to the desert to think and to contemplate.  I used to wonder why they "escaped" to the desert with all of its barrenness but I have discovered that it holds the same appeal for me.  I wrote about it while there.

Pieces of bright yellow-like fresh patches on a tattered green quilt
 Peaking through the desert maze like beacons of bright light.
Stately saguaros stand like sentinels guarding the landscape
 Towering above the restless shrubbery tickled by gentle morning breezes.
Light brown quail feverishly peck at the spotty dry grass
 Searching for a morning delicacy to propel them on their daily flight.
Vibrant red flowers punctuate the yellow-graced flora
 Framing the backdrop of graceful palo verdes spreading their sinewy branches.
A grey-blue sky brushed with cloudy white streaks
 Hovering over a still spring morning anticipates the glare of hot afternoon sun.
And I, in my quiet contemplative morning solitude
 Awaiting the call of creation's sweet embrace and glory
Rest in the knowledge that the one who spoke life into desert spaces
 Delighting in my happiness and joy meets me here with His love and grace.

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