And life’s serendipitous imp flew with me from the California coast to our landing in the Sonoran Desert last October. The objective was to physically heal. I’ve spent the last four months among saguaros, palo verde trees, wild coreopsis blooming next to chaparral and creosote shrubs. The massive structure of the Mayo Clinic outlines the horizon to the east. Westerly is the opened desert where coyotes and rabbits play hide and seek, and concludes my days in neon orange and purple sunsets.
But what nature insists on showing us, just like the flowers I captured during my January walk through the desert, is how nature keeps giving sensual delights despite the constant assault that you and I place upon it. These are simple things that unite us. These a pleasures that we can easily have in common. These are treats that come for free. These leave permanent moments while the effort to divide us is impermanent on every level.
A few years back, a man of Filipino heritage, a licensed pharmacist, purchased a local drug store. An elderly woman, clearly of Caucasian heritage, approached this pharmacist with a rant about how she was sick and tired of “all you Chinamen taking our jobs.”
This time last year I wanted to gather my own tribe around my dining room table. I craved their ways of thinking, experiences, wisdom, crafts and talents. But the problem with “my tribe” is we are not very tribal and gathering these folks at one time is akin to herding feral cats — which is why I love this weakly defined tribe.So, instead, I hiked the desert, wandered through the forests, listened to the rivers and ocean, bought mounds of books to read and ponder, and took to what I’ve always done at challenged life moments — threw words on paper in hopes of sorting it all out.
Enough of this world and all of its crooks and liars crushing the light out from the morning headlines! A high octane call to take to the road fuels my inner nomad. Drape me in beads and hats. Pack my bags (minimally). Climb aboard Gilda, the 1997 VW EuroVan with 136,000 miles already journeyed
it’s glow in
“Are we dead?” I asked Spouse.
Maybe the EuroVan, the newest family member, missed one of the treacherous curves on Nacimiento-Fergusson Road and plunged a thousand feet or more into eternity.
A lost mermaid would be drawn to the bright ocean-themed mural that covers the front of the Coastal Discovery Center — a hotbed of seaside activity in a cool little corner of San Luis Obispo County.
The Coastal Discovery Center is a local treasure for learning more about Central California’s coastline and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), which operates the Center in partnership with California State Parks.
This is not meant to be a point of political argument as to what the purpose of government is in America. My intent is to challenge the use of the word compassion as a smokescreen for the removal of governmental programs that assist the disadvantaged on multiple levels.
Recently, when what appeared to be an angry man tagged me as a snowflake, my first reaction was, “How lovely!” I mean, have you ever looked at the unparalleled beauty of a snowflake when it is magnified?