Believing

 

Desert Primrose

 

She sat in the sand to say hello to the flowers. She didn’t expect to see them there amidst such extreme heat and mobile sand. The dunes sang, she could believe that, but for some reason the delicate flowers bursting in humble shades of white and yellow seemed alien to her. She smiled at their bravery and lay back in the warm sand to feel it all. She was happy without him. She was ready to move forward. She was willing to believe in love again. “If the flowers can wait for the rainstorm, so can I,” she said to the sky. Love was a part of her always. It rode on her shoulders where the backpack dug in a little to deeply, and in her shaking hips that moved with the moons, and in the way she held strangers’ eyes for just a moment long enough to show them she cared. Love for her was the desert.

Even though it hurt sometimes, fluctuating between too hot and too cold and none at all, she believed in it. When others would try to warn her that nothing was there, she held onto the hopes knowing a Desert Primrose, or a Diatura was just behind the next Creosote Bush. The sand in her toes reminded her of the sand she would become someday. And all of it was terrifyingly expansive, all of the nothingness was a bunch of small somethingness that transformed daily. Love thrives at night when the truth of itself can dance among the moon, and the light is just light enough to mean something. She believed in it all because she believed in the desert.

Her love was a desert. It held onto itself against all reason. What grew there, grew strong enough to handle the full force of the wind of her emotion, while providing other life shade. She had spikes that protected the places where she grew soft and succulent, and it was rare that she would let people see the delicate parts of her. Lovers had to search for those places. The places where the blossoms sprouted up immediately after a storm, and the timing had to be such that the lover could not be too early or late. Timing. Time. To time. To wait. To be in time. Time moves slower in the desert. As if the places just far enough from the equator and just far enough away from the mountains revolved at a different speed. As if her heart actually sped up and slowed down as love came and went. She believed in it without reason.

She believed in it knowing she would always be thirsty. She believed in it knowing she would have to wait for the storms and wait for the water and wait and wait. She believed in it because the blooms were more spectacular and curious than anything she had ever known. Her love, a desert, was waiting, knowing the secrets that it kept.

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Shaking off Winter

Hebgen Lake, Western Yellowstone

 

Winter. A daunting word for a Californian girl who has never been below zero. Her skin is made of sunshine and warm wind, and her laughter dances in the Poppy fields splattered across the hills. Winter has always been a myth. It has entailed snow and mistletoe and warm socks, though her winter is forty degrees. The second clouds cover the sky, she crawls into her pajamas and starts a fire. Winter has been a type of weather rather than an entire season, and winter never lasts more than a day. Though, the past week she had spent sitting by a once frozen lake, she realized that spring in Montana is what she had always believed Winter to be.
Spring has been reaching down her strong, delicate fingers to crack open the ice that blanketed the lake. After the week of stretching and shrinking, the last bits of ice have been broken through and the lake has begun to thaw to her best shade of blue. If you ever have the chance to achieve two springs in one year I would recommend it. This transition time is rich with growth. Small sprouts shoot through impossibly cold earth at ground-breaking speed. And the earth seems to be laughing as the color tickles it’s surface. Gray. Brown. White. Blue. Now, Green scream across the landscape. The willows, tired from carrying the weight of snow, reach their burgundy arms to the sky. The sky tries on different jackets. One day snow, one day rain, one day…

Today the clouds broke away from the fog and the fog away from the sky and the blue pierces your heart in a way you haven’t felt since the first time you fell in love. The wonder and curiosity and excitement all wells up inside of you in a way that makes you want to cry and shout and burst out giggling all at the same time. Instead, you sit there with the world rushing past you in the bench seat of a pickup Chevy. The lake and the willows and the clouds all preparing themselves for their Spring splendor. And you thought your friends took a long time to get ready for the party… Nature takes her sweet time, arriving fashionably early or late exactly as she pleases, always ready to impress.

So we sit here, you and I, patiently waiting for the sun to shine enough and the rain to fall enough, and the wind to calm down enough for Spring. Being from California, I have never known how to wait for a season passing. I would love if you held my hand as we waited for the colors. If you have stories to share, or wisdom to impart, I welcome it all. It seems that seasons teach patience. It seems that seasons teach one to wait for things to come and how to let them go. It seems that seasons trigger some wonderful intuitive part of ourselves that need the cycles of opening and closing. If you want to join me for this change, you can find me by the river where the sheets of ice are being blown across the lake and colliding with each other. 

I’m falling in love with myself and parts that I have never known because only winter knows them. It is winter that coaxes the creativity from our wind-chilled bones. It is winter that reminds you that you are only human, and you are fragile and I am fragile, and we need each other. We need fire, in our homes and in our hearts to keep us warm and alive. It is the same fire in the sky that burns the fire in our hearts that burns spring through winter’s cloaks. So while Spring is coming, let’s run to the lake, run to the earth, run to the places that have been hidden to see what happens when they bloom. Because they are blooming like the song on the tip of your tongue that wants to be heard. I’ll sing with you if you’d like…