The desert isn’t for everyone. For months the daily temperatures are hot enough to tickle Satan’s fancy and one can almost count the number of raindrops throughout the year (so few they are). A plethora of different cacti dot the landscape for as far as the eye can see. They are prickly and uninviting to just about every thing save perhaps the happy cactus wren or the unfortunate bobcat who happens to climb up a saguaro to escape deer that are starved for dinner (strange, but true!). And of course there are snakes and scorpions to worry about along with a host of wildlife….coyotes, havalinas, and menacing packrats just to name a few. But I love the desert….I love the warmth that seeps deep into my bones. I love the sunrises and sunsets and the smell of the land just after five drops of rain falls from the sky. I love the beautiful blue sky and the interesting clouds–like enormous puffs of bright white cotton balls–that gently cut through the blue. I love to listen to Coyote Oldman’s collection of Native American Indian music during my morning walks (thanks to my brother-in-law for that!) and I listen to it each night as I go to sleep as it seems to help release me from the stress of the day.
Yes….despite the enveloping sadness and emotional drama that surrounds me here in the Arizona desert, I am trying to drink up the beauty all around especially knowing that my days here will be numbered. It pains sis and I to have to sell the lovely home that sits on a quiet cul-du-sac street in the town of Carefree….yet there is no other choice.
And, despite the beauty and sleepy quiet that surrounds me making it so easy to forget the time and even the day of the week, I am itching to go home. No, it’s not that I miss Alabama folks! I just want to return to a semblance of normalcy. I’ve got more than two months to go and already I’m not sure who I will be when I return.
Rocket-man informs me during a Skype call that he fixed himself some scallops on the grill along with a healthy green salad. I tell him that he will be skinny and rested by the time I return home at the end of June while I will be fat and stupid in a stress-induced fog. He laughs at this. I tell him that it’s not funny. I then ask Rocket-man if he has bought some geraniums for the front yard. Why this is important to me, I have not a clue! Seems mighty silly, don’t you think? I won’t even see these flowers until the end of June!
So, he sends me a photo of several pots of pretty red geraniums and I see that they are not planted in any of the pretty pots I have. I call him and ask him to plant them. He asks, what seems like 50 million questions and I find myself snapping at him. “You’re a rocket-scientist,” I snap….”How hard can it be to figure out how to plant some geraniums.” I apologize in my head just as the words tumble out. Luckily Rocket-man remains unruffled. Normally he’d be quite annoyed. He knows the enormity of the situation at hand and disregards my sharpness. I haven’t let it go….I feel pathetically sophomoric and ashamed. It’s a good thing I plan to attend Easter mass in the morning. During my walk to church I’ll pour out my tired soul to the early morning sun and I’ll pray that whatever happens in the days and weeks ahead that it will be what is right and good for everyone.
I cannot find much humor in this situation. It is sad every which way you look at it. And yet, I know it could be far, far worse and I should be grateful for that. I’ve got friends that lost more than a year of their life due to traumatic injuries and just recently another young beautiful soul is going through a terribly traumatic divorce with a young baby to raise on her own.
Yes, it could be worse in a million ways. I’m enormously thankful it isn’t and I’m also thankful that I am able to find a degree of bliss in this desert paradise where I can during this difficult and heart-wrenching time.