Sunday, February 25, 2024

A Matter of Perspective

When I was 23, near the beginning of my first marriage, my husband John got inducted into the Army. After boot camp in South Carolina (when I lived in California) and Officer Candidate School in Georgia (where I went with him and lived in a trailer with another couple) he was transferred to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas). We spent three years there - in the high desert, with its arid climate and wind. From time to time we'd make the two-day drive to California, where our families lived. That trip was mostly through desert. I remember being depressed during that time, and I hated the brown vegetation of the desert. It was like death and dying was all around me.

When I was 53, near the beginning of my second marriage, my husband Art and I were taking a road trip from Washington State, where we live, to somewhere across the desert. I don't even remember what our destination was. But I remember commenting, "I hate the desert. Everything is dead."

And Art said, "No, the desert isn't dead. It's just land held in reserve. All it needs is water." By that time, I hadn't been depressed for years. I heard him. And when I looked out the car window I could imagine spring, when the desert sprouts green after the rains. 

And now that I am 75, I spend half the year in the desert, at our little home in Tucson. I notice the many varieties of native plants which have evolved to survive and thrive in places where the rain falls only rarely.

Last week I went with friends to a local art gallery. I had no plans to buy anything, but I found a photograph I could not resist:

It's called "Blue Spigot".We put it up in the living room of our Tucson place. 

My perspective has changed in the last 50 years. Now, I'm grateful for the desert.


Linda Reeder said...

Life experiences broaden our perspectives. We can learn to appreciate what we previously didn't know or understand.
I wish more people were learners.

DJan said...

I am not a fan of desert environments, but I don't dislike them either. However, the lush green of the Pacific Northwest fills me with joy.