Living in the desert, the high desert of southeastern Arizona, feels like living in the imagination. Had I never been here, I could not have even imagined it – not the desert, not the living here.
Each person, each living thing, is surrounded by the brown dirt of the earth as an island is surrounded by water. For perhaps 6 to 8 weeks during the summer rains green surrounds us and soaks into our pores. The rest of the time it is brown here. A million shades of brown. Some mellow greens. Some hazy blues, some grays. Subtle.
Naked mountains, their bones showing, not cloaked with trees and hidden. Bare like the earth spared being hidden by masses of trees and cellulose jungles.
The desert grows on you here. Grows into you, sticks to you like fine, fine silt coating you with a second skin.
So the small patches of flowers I grow here have their impact not only for their color, but for the time taken of my life to care for them, to maintain their lives. The desert here has few flowers of its own, but they are marvelous. Given a single season’s particular patterns seeds can germinate here that have literally been dormant for hundreds of years. Those ones once viewed become part of the historic opportunities of a millennium.