We are fortunate to live in San Diego and to have beautiful camping parks along the ocean bluffs, mountains and in the desert, all within a two hour drive. Our nearby desert typically has mild weather during the winter and we love to camp there where we can enjoy quiet and beautiful vista views, sunrises, birds chirping, flowers, hiking, cooking, eating, stargazing, and contemplating the universe.
Marshal South, poet, artist, and author, wrote:
The Desert! Either you will love it or you will hate it. If you hate it you will fly from it and never wish to see its face again. If you love it, it will hold you and draw you as will no other land on earth.1
Driving home after our summer in San Diego, I felt pulled as usual into the life of the desert, the reddish boulders and grey-green agave and tall grey stalks of ocotillo that no longer look austere to me even in our driest season… For the first time in my life I feel my roots and they know their depth… These years on the desert have taught me: all other roots, however cherished, are metaphors for this deepest connection, to the natural world, the nourishing ground of our being.2
We also find the desert to be nourishing and enjoy the rainbow connection.*
After a rainfall, deserts have a delightful aromatic smell and flowers bloom, such as this Ghost Flower.
Rain brings joy and happiness to the desert oasis.
Thich Nhat Hanh,* author and well-known Zen Buddhist teacher, wrote in his latest book, No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering:
We can experience both joy and happiness… The method here is simple. Breathing in, bring your mind home to your body. Establish yourself in the here and the now and recognize what is around you. Then joy and happiness arise easily, from your recognition of all the positive elements available right now.3
Rain brings new growth to plants providing nourishment for the bighorn sheep here.
At the end of the day, we often enjoy a spectacular moonrise and a sky filled with moving stars.*
1. This is the quote on the page after the title page of Marshal South and the Ghost Mountain Chronicles: An Experiment in Primitive Living, Edited and with a Foreword by Diana Lindsay and Introduction by Rider and Lucile South, Sunbelt Publications, San Diego, CA., 2005
2. Desert Years: Undreaming The American Dream, Cynthia Rich, Spinsters/Aunt Lute Book Company, San Francisco, California, 1989, pages 108 and 110.
3. No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering, Thich Nhat Hanh, Parallax Press, Berkeley, California, 2014, page 56.
*This is a link to a YouTube video.