A Love Letter to the Desert

I am a desert person. I feel like a person in the desert. The desert makes me feel like a person.

It's partly the light, like it comes from a different sun entirely. It might be the landscape, the atmosphere. Sometimes it's the architecture. Undoubtedly all of that. A foreign planet that somehow feels the most familiar. 

I need less sleep in the desert. I wake up and feel alert like I already had my coffee. I can feel the clarity of the air. A buzz under my feet. The awareness of the distance between where I stand and the mountain. Near and far at once but no matter. Similar to the awareness that there's no such thing as time, perhaps there's no such thing as space either. I feel that there more than anywhere. The desert holds all the space within its space. While much of it is unknown, it feels solid. It just exists. 

I love mornings in the desert. Waking to feel a distinct reminder that the heat is on its way, like one of those feelings you get when you know something good is about to happen. It starts rolling out of thin air around you, undeniably taking shape and weight despite the fact that it's unseen. Pulsing even. Impending. 

I like that the heat is uncontrollable but natural. It certainly isn't shy. Maybe it's working for you. A birth. Sure sometimes it's too much. Exhausting, smothering. But even then it can awaken something in you if you let it. An awareness of the absurdity of being in a human body. A need to take shelter in the shade. Drink a glass of water. Be. 

A questioning of meaning as the sweat pours out of you. Why am I here sweltering in the desert? Here on earth in general? Perhaps there's a heightened awareness of how automated your body is to work in extreme circumstances, whether or not you consciously asked it to do so. A reminder to thank the body for the work it puts in. A reminder to listen to and nurture your body. Express your extreme gratitude for how it houses you. Offers you this life. 

I suppose my love letter to the desert is a bit of a love letter to life. Back to basics. Function, grace, and beauty. Thank you, thank you. 

 Photo by  Robert Murray  on  Unsplash

Photo by Robert Murray on Unsplash