There is something about your crunching steps over ancient sand and stone. It’s a land with acres and acres of dry, rocky earth. At times, the only sounds are your walking feet.
I long for the desert. I long for its danger.
It’s the kind of land that challenges the spirit of the best survivors. It’s addictive. Its plants are sharp and deadly. Its animals roam the brush, at a constant war against each other and you. Its birds are large and vengeful, finding food in the dead. Its heat is paralyzing. Its nights are like a darkness you’ve never seen, a cold you cannot bear.
I long for the desert. I long for its breath.
The desert air is like nothing else. You don’t know until you’ve really taken it in with your own two lunges. The ocean has a pungent beauty – the forests are moist. The woods smell oaky – the mountains are cold. But, the desert has warmth, a burn to it. Its air is like the smell of a fresh camp fire. But it doesn’t pass in a moment, it lingers; it’s constant. It’s dry, thin, and it turns most of the land to dust and cactus needles.
I long for the desert. I long for its healing powers.
The desert cures. It welcomes those who need their solitude. It welcomes those who hate their solitude but would rather have it with the rattlesnakes and cattle. When you need to put the world behind you, to forget love and desire, to dispose of a troubled past or a poor record, the desert welcomes you.
I long for the desert. I long for its welcome.
It houses honest men, men who need the open air and their wives and their boots and nothing else. It also is home to the criminals, who need to lose their name and find labor, who can’t have an address or a face.
I long for the desert. I long for its stars.
The only thing more impressive than its open land is its endless sky. Desert stars are not like any other. They are not finite. It’s harder to find patches of black than spots of white. Those stars are a true portal to the past. A reminder that we are small and simple, that life is meant to be enjoyed and pondered, that there is nothing more important than the moment you find yourself in.
I long for the desert. I long for its love.
Unconditional. Endless. Blind. The desert’s love is thick, powerful and never-ending. It shares itself with the venomous snakes and venus fly traps. Surely, it will share it with you, too.
I long for the desert.
For Mexico, love, and Colin Rooney