We passed through snowstorms, icy roads, and speeding semis, when the dry desert seemed to emerge out of nothing, suddenly evolving from the horizon. We stood on a cliff overlooking the valley with the warm wind whipping at our chest and felt content. Tent, food, books, mountain bikes. No worries except to sleep in the sand, rise with the sun.
The warm air added to the desert high we were feeling after months of a cold, snowy winter. Every breath of air felt like a new birth, a new appreciation for something our bodies ached for, unknowingly. We set up camp in a red dusty circle surrounded by stacked cliffs and prickly bushes. And then we sat. Waiting for nothing, expecting nothing, but believing in everything. We contemplated the color of sand, the sound of birds, the prints of animals. We even explored alone, off on our own adventures. Cliffs, caves, natural springs, whatever we could find.
Sitting alone in the desert is the definition of euphoric isolation. No animals or people are wandering into your campsite, no rain to ruin a good morning. Just you, the sun, the dirt, and a light breeze to remind you that these rock formations have been around a lot longer than any of the cars or people that move beyond the valley. Nothing to worry about except the unexpected thought shaking up the unplanned meditation. Every shade of orange, brown, red, with spots of green and yellow dotting the dusty fields. A bird glides the lazy stream of wind high in the sky. With nothing to do except...be. More than enough time presents itself to recognize what you missed the last 25 years of your life. The beauty of the desert, and the time it took to create the desolate nothing that is everything all at once.