I live in a small town in the California High Desert. And I’m not going to lie. Some days I struggle. It’s an isolated community. It’s hard to describe how isolated it feels, and it’s harder to describe what it means for family life. In fact I may have to write a novel or something to try and explain it.
But as I was sitting at my desk this night and enjoying some much needed and restorative silence, I was listening to the wind blow.
The wind is no small matter in my tiny desert town (How tiny? The town is only two miles across… So I’ve been told.). The wind has brought down four trees in our neighborhood park this year alone. But this night, I’ve enjoyed listening to it blow, creating those low, base notes that register first in your chest and then in your ears.
And the wind is bringing some long awaited cool air to us. So lovely.
I will not always live in the desert, but while I am here I will enjoy the good parts. And tonight the wind is a good, comforting part.
There are other good parts. The mountain views here are breathtaking. The sunsets are spectacular. The first snows on the Eastern Sierras make me happy every winter. The wild flowers in the spring have reseeded themselves in my heart. The day trips to giant sequoias, Death Valley, Mount Whitney, and poppy reserves are a boon. The dry air feels decadent after years in the Deep South. The lack of mosquitoes is a plus. Similarly, the absence of traffic. When I am not recovering from epic bike falls, it’s a great town for cycling. And when it rains and the desert sage spreads thick in the air, it feels like the greatest pop-up festival you ever had the good fortune to stumble across.
So while the struggle is real, and feels even realer when you learn that a train derailed and closed the one road out of town, the joy is real too. And in the spirit of the season, I’ll count the joys, or at least try to remember them more often.
What is making your gratitude list this November? To one commenter I will send the next silverplate vintage/antique knife that I come across in my antiquing adventures. Because the antique scene in my little desert town is a perpetual joy too.