Tuesday, May 29, 2007

May 25 -- A Day on A Desert Two-Lane

After a week of traveling we begin our journey home -- this time through the desert. We're the only car on the two-lane dodging road runners and lizards and listening to Willy Nelson sing Poncho & Lefty. I remember singing this same song with my friends Billie and Willy on the desert in Southern California -- ah, sweet memories.

I look out at the wide open spaces. On the surface it seems quiet and dead. But the desert is full of life if one chooses to look. The open spaces of the desert are some of our favorite places. To be able to see for miles with mountains in the distance. Space, ah so much of it. One can breath! I take a deep breath.

The Saguaros are blooming. This is the first time I've been here late enough in spring to see their flowers.

We pass skeletal remains of homes. Places people have lived at one time. I wonder who they were and why they left their homes to become victims of the elements?

I'm reminded of lyrics from a Kate Wolf song, Carolina Pines. The setting is different but it could be anywhere.

Just an old house with a roof fallin' in
Standin' at the edge of the field
Watchin' the crops grow as it's always done before
Nobody lives here anymore

The sun's goin' down in the Carolina pines
I'm a long way from home and I miss that love of mine
Broken windows, empty doors
Nobody lives here anymore

Old memories come whistlin like the wind,
Through the walls and the cracked window panes
The grass is growin high, round the kitchen door
Nobody lives here anymore

Once there were children and a few hired hands
Hard workin' woman and a bone tired man
And now that old sun steels across the dusty floors
Nobody lives here anymore

We pass a lone combine parked along side the road. We wonder why -- no agriculture can be seen anywhere -- only dusty desert covered with creosote bushes and cactus. But miles down the road we cross irrigation canals and once again we find ourselves driving through lush green fields and fruit trees. Such a stark contrast to the desert.
We enter a big valley where multiple dust devils spiral and dip in the wind playing chase in the distance. Closer to the road are Oleander bushes, Bougainvillea and white plumes stand tall from Yucca plants. What beauty and variety this day has given us.

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