Monday, June 25, 2012

Memories of the Desert

What is it about the desert southwest that provides a sense of peace? I don’t know the total answer to that question, but I do have some observations. If you are a reader of this blog you know that I just returned from a few days in New Mexico.

The observations are all subjective.

Sand is an unnatural growing environment, at least to us Easterners, yet cactus species of all kinds flourish in the granulated loam. The red painted Ocotillo, the eatable Prickly Pear, the noble and stately Saguaro, and the winding Stag horn are all beautiful. Barrel cactus flowers have few equals with their thick colorful blossoms. Numerous desert floor varieties of tiny delegate flowers sprout through the cracked and drying sand and all are shaded occasionally by the multi-trunked Ironwood evergreen tree.

There is a peace that flows naturally from the land and in particular from the vistas embraced by the eye; distances are unencumbered.

There is cultural variety everywhere. Immigrant Mexican traditions vie with Caucasian expectations and expansion.

In many ways water is the coin in the realm. By the time the rio Grande River, which sources in the Rocky Mountains, gets to the desert southwest it is but a stream. States use most of their allotment and there is little left to flow south of the border.

Somewhere down the years, by drought or use, water will be a problem. How it’s solved will be the choice of cooperation or legal conflict.

I hope the peace engendered by the vistas of the land will prevail at that time.

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