As I drove to the Dollar General this morning, I though how fortunate I am to live in this beautiful place. I rolled down my window and took in the cool, country, air. I got lost in thought of things past…of him. I remembered happy times, when we’d gone down the same road to town, together, listening to music and laughing. The morning sun blessed the fields and pastures with its golden glow. Everything my eyes fell upon could have been a painting.
In spite of the bucolic paradise that is Mayberry, I still miss my desert. The Chihuahuan Desert is the most beautiful place on earth, to me. The sun is so large that it absolutely commands the sky. When morning rays meet the desert floor there is an explosion of beauty beyond compare. The shadows on the mountains come to life…showing themselves, slowly as sun rises, daring mere humans to come see what they hide. Birds of prey begin their hunt early, as the rabbits and critters come our to feed on the greasewood bushes and the like. Soon after, the buzzards begin to search for the leftover handiwork of the things that kill in the night. There is a stillness there that I never felt before, or since.
In the desert, you are a guest, to be sure. There is not one living thing that welcomes the human to be part of its life. It is a hostile enviromnent that lets us know, in no uncertain terms, that we do not belong there, nor are we particularly wanted. If one is to master the desert, you must understand that. And you must be both fearless and humble, because both are required each and every day in order to live there. All in all, I’ve never felt more human than I did during the time I spent growing up there. The Chihuahuan Desert saved me in many ways. I may never make it back out there, but I will remember it every day, because I owe a debt of gratitude to that place that can never be repaid. If I ever truly loved anything other than my boys, it is that desert.