Every aspect of it draws me, my imagination, my senses. I can smell the morning upon the sand, sense the approach of rain from miles away. I dream of the sun-baked sands, the desolate trails and distance. My imagination can conjure the heat, the dust, sweat and searing light of a day in the waste.
I’ve always had this love, since before I can remember much else.
Many, many songs and books can fuel this memory. I am engaged by literature that finds its base in the Desert, from Louis L’amour to Melanie Rawn, Tad Williams. I find the desert in the Bible, and so a powerful connection to the stories therein, especially in the Old Testament and its tales of wandering, of ancient places that were and still are among the sands.
I dearly love that trackless waste. Tucson may truly be my home, though I’ve never really known it in my past but for vacations and flitting memories. The town battles against the desert, which if not prevented, would swallow the streets and buildings in only a few years. The desert is vast and beautiful, and still as deadly as it was a hundred and more years ago.
I have been upon the sea and in the jungle, been to the equator and to the frigid North, and nothing compares to the vivid, living desert to which I belong. Life in the Sand lives as in no other place on Earth. The Lord has given the desert a vibrancy and purity all its own, and I praise Him for it.
I could lose myself among those stones. I have before, and I miss the moments. And I know they’ve not been enough. My family has centered around this place since my life began, though their travels have been far-ranging from the sand. And I feel a sense of longing every time I learn that one of mine is going to visit.
Is there something there still for me? Can my little family see and find that love of the Sand? Our trip to the Sonora Museum struck me more than I realized when we were there this past Fall. I’ve never held such fascination at the plants and animals as in that place. I’ve never payed so much attention to the little placards and signs about plants and animals. “This is a cholla” “That is a Yucca” “Here is an Agave” “Oh, and don’t forget, there’s a few bazillion kinds of each of these.”
Silly me, I didn’t upload any of the photos we took, but it’s easy enough to find them, if you really need the images to flicker your memory. God has set in my heart a passion for the Long Sand that leaves the Sea, the Far East and all the other places I’ve been far far behind. This island upon which I find myself now is probably the best place I could be if separated from my beloved and our girls. It’s not Them, but it is the Desert.
Images to view: