Bring Desert Flowers
The other day I took a long walk through the sagebrush despite the impending storm clouds, a harsh black ceiling hovering over the horizon, daunting and yet comically fluffy. I watched it in the distance looming, spraying patches of walking rain across the desert. Despite the cool moist breeze against my face, I convinced myself it was moving in the other direction as I ventured farther and farther across the mesa, certainly the tallest object within a mile radius.
Winds changed and as I turned down another trail toward home, I noticed the storm clouds had crept around me like a stalking gloom, hanging over town in the distance and veiling the mountains. I heard a crash of thunder. A raven drifted in place, leaning into the strong winds. I was nearly encircled in the stormy darkness except for in the east where the sun was slowly descending behind the cerro.
My heart’s rhythm significantly sped up against my ribs. I decided it was time to evoke magic and I made myself a bubble of sunshine to shield me home. Even as I watched the storm encroach on the neighborhood, I imagined my sunshine bubble, and the setting sun continued to beam at my back through clouds, my shadow continued to lengthen before me as I picked up my pace. Sun bubble or not, I needed to get home soon.
A rural block from my house, I let my guard down and pulled my hood up. The hail fell in soft pellets against my legs. A weird thing about me, I actually like being outside in stormy weather. I love the feel of the wind and rain. I feel a bit macho and hard core, sturdy and tough. But only when I anticipate a dry place to end up in. So I enjoyed the moments of allowing for precipitation before returning home and firing up my pellet stove and biomat.
(PSA: Storms in the desert are not to be flippant about. Lightening and hypothermia are very dangerous and that situation could have been scarier. It is important to stay aware and probably not cut it so close. Relying on magic is not advisable.)
Meanwhile, a whole new batch of wildflowers bloomed joyfully with the quenching rainfall and I have suddenly become obsessed with identifying them. Longleaf phlox in purple, pink and white. Woollypod milkvetch. Plains fleabane. Indian paintbrush. Scarlet hedgehog. I also learned that the weed I've been trying to pull out of my yard because the flower turns to prickly stickers when it goes to seed in the fall is white horehound, which is part of the mint family and great for inflammation of all kinds, including digestive problems, as well as respiratory issues and painful menstruation. So I'm going to let it grow and harvest it for tea, which is great because the roots were really stubborn.
Today is yet another stormy spring day after a series of beautiful hot days. I'm excited to go on the hunt for more blooms tomorrow. I will wait this time for the storms to safely abate.
I love this, Johanna! It came at a perfect moment on a Monday when I was getting emotionally tilted. It is a perfect reminder of the desert area of Taos, which I visited in 2012. Being stuck in SC for awhile, I so miss my beloved NM, CO, AZ, and UT. You brought me right back! Hope and pray that all is well with you, scrivener. Keep on keeping on. Namaste.