Desert


Red Rock Canyon
Originally uploaded by realsupergirl

This is the landscape of my soul.

While hiking around Red Rock Canyon, just on the outskirts of Vegas, and I had a long conversation about landscapes and how they get internalized. She said that she finds the desert kind of scary. “It’s so harsh,” she said. I find the desert soothing, calming, and beautiful. I want to run to it the way others want to run to the ocean. The way I have tried to run to the ocean.

I love the ocean, I love the tall trees and mountains of the Gorge. It’s beautiful. But it doesn’t soothe me in the same way that the desert does. Could this be because I grew up in Texas, and somehow managed to internalize the landscape of my childhood? I have no other explanation.

A few years ago, I wrote a poem about camping in the desert in Israel which contained the line “in the desert, there is no place to go but inward.”

How about you? Do you have a landscape of your soul, a landscape that soothes and calms you, that feels like home?

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~ by realsupergirl on May 30, 2007.

14 Responses to “Desert”

  1. Redwood groves by the ocean, especially the one in Santa Cruz we used to go to to see the monarch butterflies when I was very young.

  2. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm. Beautiful. I love redwoods.

  3. Of course, as pointed out… while there are indeed redwood groves in Santa Cruz, monarch butterflies actually congregate on eucalyptus trees. So, two separate landscapes. (=

  4. I’m all over the Pacific NW coastal rainforest – right at the edge of the ocean. Quiet except for the sound of wind and water, the ocean just visible through the trees, *emphatically* green with a carpet of ferns below huge old growth fir/cedar/etc.

    I love the redwoods, but they’re too gargantuan to fit in me. 🙂

    Deserts, on the other hand make me intensely uncomfortable. I *need* water. Lots of it.

  5. I love the way desert fauna are able to conserve and ration water, and use it so wisely, in order to survive. There is a lesson in there, if I read it as a metaphor.

  6. I am partial to the rolling, dry hills of California and Eastern WA and OR. That’s partially why I loved Spain so much; it just felt so comfortable and instantaneously homey. But, I also feel the same way about the ocean and tide pools. Fond childhood memories go a long way.

  7. Mmmmmmm, tide pools. I love tide pools.

  8. Mmmmmmm, tide pools. I love tide pools.

  9. I think you hit the nail on the head regarding your childhood and how it affects you. Which is why I love the ocean, and Sweetie loves the mountains.

  10. I’ve been thinking and thinking about this. (Okay, maybe just one thinking.) The landscape of my soul is not-quite suburban woods at the edge of a mid-Atlantic city. There’s a stream and lots of deciduous trees. There’s litter and graffiti, but not too much. You’re never really alone, but you can find a little spot that can make you feel that way for a while. The white noise from the busy roads nearby almost overwhelm the burble of the creek. It’s harmless, mostly.

    I’ve been fortunate enough to spend time camping in the southwestern desert and in the high desert, the temperate rainforests of the PNW and redwood forests, too. I love all those places. But my soul resides in a place that’s not quite quiet, not altogether peaceful. It rests and expands in those other places, it is inspired there, but it always returns to the anxious energy on the edge of the city.

  11. “not-quite suburban woods at the edge of a mid-Atlantic city”

    Sounds a lot like Maryland, no?

    Beautiful description.

  12. 🙂

    Thanks for the opportunity.

  13. I’ve always liked the top. The top of trees, hills, mountains, houses, apartment buildings in the middle of huge cities…I love to look out and see what God and people have created. I like being up in the air.

  14. I’ve always liked the top. The top of trees, hills, mountains, houses, apartment buildings in the middle of huge cities…I love to look out and see what God and people have created. I like being up in the air.

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