We drove to White Tank Mountain. We left behind the symmetry and crushed rock-filled yards to see farms and scraggly sage along the side of the road. I turned to Rom and told him, "I feel so relieved! Seeing that sage I feel so relieved!"
And then the desert. We parked our car and walked across the street and started on the trail. We walked together along the interpretive trail, reading about the local plants (creosote bush, palo verde, desert ironwood, strawberry hedgehog cactus) and animals, which were hiding themselves among the sage-scape. One little lizard showed himself to us, and we squatted on the trail and watched him for many minutes. We saw two tiny birds flit around a giant palo verde. Orlando loved climbing the rocks and walking quietly among the animals. Mostly we reveled in the delicate textures and the pale colors.
I am grateful that this land is here, that we are able to walk quietly there, that the animals are still able to live there, away from the trails. I am grateful that the plants grow where they please. I am grateful that the colors of the desert demand my full attention, and that the abundance of texture gives me continual hope.
It is such a gift to wear Mica... He transferred out of his car seat into the ergo and slept for most of our desert walk. He awoke and climbed out, walking among the sand, tasting the rocks.
My grandma just moved from her condo in Sun City to an apartment complex called The Forum. It is a community of elders and they offer game rooms, a library, a pool, a dining room that serves three meals a day. We visited her there yesterday, for a community lighted-boat parader, s'mores by the fire, and live music.
I am grateful that my grandma is making a life change that she's chosen (after a few months of struggling with her health). I am grateful that a woman named Doris asked us for help finding her way back to the dining room. I am grateful for singing together, watching a woman dancing to White Christmas, hearing a man's baritone behind me singing Silent Night.
Dark, dark, dark. Divine.
* * *Orlando is grateful for...
- going on a hike and seeing cactus and climbing rocks and everything
- seeing Great Grandma Dona
- Grammy letting us have this bed
- Great Grandma Dona giving us this book to read at bedtime