Thursday, December 20, 2012

How to Desert


There can be such beauty in the prickly things, the tiny fine points, and walking out here in the desert makes me hungry for isolation. Camping, wood fires, primal living. Who needs TV if I've got my coffee and a family-sized sleeping bag? We could do it, us three, subsist on sweet, magenta-fleshed prickly pear and bird eggs and now and then, we'd roast a javelina on a spit. {Because even vegetarians have to compromise if they've gone wild, sorry dear javelinas, and we'll just pretend that chipotle and adobo are seasons in the peccarian afterlife}.

The open spaces, the hazy blueness and greenness, the danger lurking in crevices under rocks. I imagine the silence of deserting.


But ... no, life isn't about silence and isolation. So I walk with a 5 year old singing 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' behind me at the top of her lungs, and what was that awesome tamale thing I had at lunch, and a couple fighter planes from across the mountain rumble the rocks around me. But still. 

Still. I can find what I need in this place.


We're walking the desert near Tucson - Robbie and Nelle and I - exploring a place where saguaros are like trees they're so big and so many. The museum tells us it takes these giants 15 years to stretch a foot or two tall, and I feel so young out here, so young and soft. Nothing like her, of course, but our time here's making me feel stronger and more fragile all at once.

The same feelings I want to - somehow - give my baby to grow within her all glowing and warm. Be strong, darling, be sweet, and kind. Be you you you.


No, no, we're not going to run off into the desert after all, not this time. Instead we'll head back to our temporary home with the hummingbirds on the back deck and the quinoa pasta for dinner and a glass {or two} of wine. And in this moment, with her arms wrapped around my neck, I still carry with me all I need.
Amanda xx

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