Desert Healing

Joshua Tree National Park, August 19, 2016, © 2016 Elizabeth A. Maginnis

 

My husband and I recently returned from a trip to Las Vegas and the Mojave Desert. We love the Desert Southwest. Las Vegas has become our home base for day trips to the area’s natural attractions, most notably Death Valley National Park, Nevada’s otherworldly Valley of Fire State Park, Snow Canyon State Park in southwestern Utah, Malibu Beach and Los Angeles in California, and Sedona, Arizona. This trip, we expanded that list to include the Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park.

We drove the Mojave National Preserve cut-through to Joshua Tree in a state of wonder at the beauty unfolding around us. Whoever believes the desert is devoid of life hasn’t truly seen the desert. Creosote bushes (“future tumbleweeds,” we call them) flourish alongside hundreds upon hundreds of Joshua trees tall enough to rival any adult tree back East. Distant mountains stand sentinel over the landscape.

Somewhere along the way, my mind quieted. The constant, senseless thought chatter that fills my head drifted apart. The world around me came into sharper focus. Is this how moments of clarity feel? If so, I highly recommend it. What a wonderful sensation!

This how I want to live my life: peaceful, accepting, appreciative of the gifts the Universe provides. Being human means, of course, slipping off the path more than once, but I’m willing to deal with those slips if I can recall the calm of the desert to quiet my mind.

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