“What still amazed me about the desert was all the life it had in it. I had come to Arizona expecting an endless sea of sand dunes. I’d learned of deserts from old Westerns and Quickdraw McGraw cartoons. But this desert was nothing like that. There were bushes and trees and weeds here, exactly as anywhere else, except that the colors were different, and everything alive had thorns.” – The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
It was almost fourteen years ago that I packed up my Honda Civic Del Sol leaving friends (with the exception of my best friend in the passenger seat), family, and the 365 days of sunshine behind for the Pacific Northwest. Seattle was my destination. I tend to lean towards extremes.
From the outside it was for college. On the inside it was for my spirit. The damp earth, the evergreens (a-hem - conifers), even the heavy grey sky offered a vibrancy that the San Diego sunshine never could possess. I needed to leave to go home. And having just returned from a trip from San Diego, I find myself saying it again but in reverse. After all these years there are still bits of sand under my nails.
Not all of San Diego is a desert I am learning. Regardless, the desert is alive. There are parts of us that to our mind’s eye look dead but only lay dormant. It’s amazing what a little bit of sun can do. I was able to see some color in those blue skies and softness in the thorns.