for teens

silent beauty in the desert

I believe that the desert is a place of healing, a place that makes my heart sing.

I believe in its serenity. In its ancient slick rock and towering sandstone walls that whisper secrets of the past. I believe in the winds that carry the sweet scent of sagebrush, and the silt-filled rivers, their banks covered in willows. In the turkey vultures that ride the air thermals up into the never-ending expanse of blue sky. I believe in the harmony of the desert. It shows me beauty, grace, and power, instead of desolation.

Ever since I was a little girl, my dad has been taking me to the desert. We would pack up our truck with sleeping bags, ramen noodles, hot chocolate, and head out. Bumping our way along on dirt roads, washed out by flash floods, to arrive on the bank of a lazily winding river or on the lip of a canyon wall, overlooking what seemed like all of God's creation. I love sitting, with a hot drink clasped in my hands to protect them from the chill of the oncoming night, and watching the sun sink low in the sky. It has a way of casting long, lonely shadows and in a final show of glow ing red splendor, pitching the world into sudden and complete darkness. I find an inner peace when I wait quietly, my attention focused on the velvety black sky, waiting for the stars to pop out and set the night sky ablaze.

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July 20, 2009

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