Before returning to Organ Pipe Cactus three months ago I had come only twice: once while I wrote my dissertation 30+ years ago and again about fifteen years later. I let its remoteness get in my way even knowing how uniquely it affected me. The absurdity of letting convenience, avoiding the long drive, stand in my way is an expression of the dullness I mentioned; if the recent months are indicative, I may have sharpened a little of that away as I’m sure that whatever the distance I will make time here part of my circuit henceforward. I will be here for a week. I’m not sure there is any point in trying to understand exactly why particular places affect us as they do; that they do is sufficient and that the consequences for our souls are enriching ones should be enough. And they are, but I can’t help playing with the question just as I sometimes do with understanding how certain beloved people have drawn me toward them. With desert it’s impossible not to mention its austerity and the fit of that with my own. I’ve spent a lot of time in forests, including ancient forests, which can hardly be described; there’s no shortage of awe to be found amongst the trees. For compatibility, though, desert feels closest at this point in my life. It seems simpler. I have sometimes made a distinction between opulence and elegance among human-made things and noted my preference for the latter. This part of the Sonoran Desert is elegant: abundant without excess, beautiful without effort, each part discernible in relation to its community. I will practice being here this week with more of that discernment.


Photo by NOAA on Unsplash


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This