Thursday, December 17, 2009

62 Months

We went to the desert over thanksgiving. There's a sweet canyon just east of Borrego Springs where the rain has carved incredibly tights slots through the sandstone. The walls rise up about twenty to thirty feet on either side and tower overhead with menacing presence. It's a wonder of nature and beautiful in so many ways. A year ago we traversed the canyons with thunder clashing above the mountains and the thought of rain threatening to sweep us away with its hungry flood. Needless to say, the warm weather and clear skies that we experienced this year allowed us to explore the badlands with a more thorough eye.

Lucas loves the desert. Whenever he knows that we're going camping he gets a gleam in his eye and an excited tone on his tongue. We tried to go out for the night a couple of weeks earlier but due to a bout of sickness that overwhelmed some of us, we had to cancel the trip. Lucas was devastated. He actually wept and we made a promise that we would head out as soon as everyone was healed. That led to our trip on thanksgiving day, some time to get away from the masses and their turkey hearts. It was such a pleasant break from society, the rugged solitary landscape allowing us some freedom from our busy lives, our rambling thoughts, so that we may find a way to make this meditative journey an annual event.

Lucas wouldn't object at any rate. He loves to scramble over rocks and dig in the sand and pull himself up the skim sandstone surfaces that surround us. I've always loved to push at the edge and try difficult climbs that make my muscles sing in earnest terror. I'm also very calculating so that I don't take any extreme risk, yet there's is an element of danger that entices the the adventure in my heart. Lucas loves to watch me do some of these feats and will even encourage me to go even farther once I stop. Sometimes I worry that I'm teaching him some bad habits but then I contemplate his character, which is so much like mine. Even though he might take some risks when we carouse in the desert, he has a careful nature that doesn't allow recklessness to invade within his sphere. He takes care of himself, tentative when he needs to be but eagerly seeking out new landscapes. It's really marvelous to see it unfold within the confines of his five-year-old body, watching with my adult perspective and understanding some of the things that gave me excitement or stress or wonder when I was a child.

Another beautiful aspect of Lucas' personality is that he is a walker. When he was two we made him walk everywhere and there would be moments of extreme confrontation when he wouldn't want to go that last block. Fortunately Xtimu and I are usually on the same page with our parenting agenda and we wouldn't settle; he had to walk the extra mile. Well, now it's really paying off. Yeah, there are still times when Lucas moans about having to walk somewhere or how far but he always makes it to wherever we are going. He is an absolute trooper and if we had to attempt a death march in order to survive some armageddon, I know that Lucas would be keeping pace right there beside us.

When we go to the desert we walk. We don't ride motorcycles or quads or dunebuggies. We have the Rodeo with 4WD but for the most part we hike everywhere. It's so much fun to be out in the quiet and notice the little things that nature provides; a flower or some small creature struggling to survive or a cave or a chasm. The desert is a source of wonder and it's someplace near enough to allow us to escape the weight of modern life. It's a different perspective on what the world has to offer, one that isn't encapsulated on a computer screen or the boob-tube, and it's a touch of an abandoned life that helps us understand our own humanity. It gives me peace and I love to see that sense of awareness developing in my children.

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Blogger Darwinsgirl said...

Lovely photo's!

1:15 PM  

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