Sunday, October 3, 2010

Gifts of the Desert

I feel quite certain Edward Abbey said something moving and brilliant about the gifts the desert freely gives; perhaps something like
how the sun and carrion scour our bones exposing a story our ivory is there to tell,
or maybe
the lavender hued shadows at dusk tempt us to look with the vision of owl, bat or mischievous coyote into the mystery where no sun's light casts our story into obvious relief. 
I invite you to seek out your favorite quote about these gifts(or write your own) and insert it here in your thoughts...(feel free to share if you are so inclined) for only you know exactly what mood and gift this moment asks to share with you.

this morning as i cleaned through a stack of papers in my room that clamor from somewhere deep within their pile "herein lies all the wisdom, all the answers, don't cast us away", but i'm never quite sure what to do with--i found the following birthday gift emerging to be heard and read and held, and it felt the perfect way to honor the turning of the season from birthday to autumn, from introspection to pruning and preparing for hibernation whence seeds germinated begin their coiling stretch in DNA code long since buried that ignites us all--and so i share it with you in joyful celebration of its expression.

from tessa at my birthday
Desert sun, radiant watch
the eye amidst the grass.
Stretching forth, the gnarled branch.
It holds the last rich seed.
An ancient crane, its song a sacred melody to the woman's bone.
The shadow of the red cliffs cradles,
ever holding, ever strength.
And high above, 
sent from the wind, 
a silhouette that calls you round.
A message from yourself.
You've seen its face and feel the stone.
The Place.

--in reaction,
a heart filled with tearful blessedness,
hearing the crane's cry, seeing the woman's bone
cradled deeply in red cliff's shadow
a message from self--this shadow stalks me,
warrior, shaman, sage
silhouette ever with me, silently willing and waiting to be heard
i am blessed and grateful indeed.


  1. This is astoundingly beautiful....all of it including the photo! It also speaks to me very personally having just returned from backpacking in the Grand Canyon and hiking many trails in Sedona where I was so aware of the aliveness of what we call the barren lands. Gives me hope for folks whose souls I think are barren. Thankyou! Dawn

  2. dawn--a group of fellow travelers i know just returned from Grand National Staircase by Escalante in Southern Utah and it was what spurred my own desert post. i am always amazed at how powerfully such stark and subtley verdant places in nature are so innately geared towards working on our souls. So wonderful to hear that you were able to fill your own canteen from that deep well.