I like the way your sparkling earrings lay
Against your skin so brown
And I wanna sleep with you in the desert tonight
With a billion stars around
~Eagles, Peaceful Easy Feeling
Living in Chicago has one major disadvantage. That is, I am over one thousand miles from my beloved desert. I miss the Mojave. I miss the Sonoran. Mostly, my heart aches for lack of contact with the Great Basin.
How can one love a barren desert?
First, it’s vital to understand the desert is not barren. It’s beauty is not slap in the face gorgeous. It’s not ostentatious. It is not a peacock strutting gaily for all, begging everyone for admiration.The desert’s beauty is in it’s apparent starkness.
Second, one must realize beauty comes in many forms. Not everyone wants a tall, long legged, waif like, pearly skinned, buxom blonde with blue eyes. Some of us prefer brunettes with brown eyes. Some of us prefer petite. Some of us prefer muscles and ink. Some of us prefer cocoa skin. Some of us prefer mass without the ‘m’. Some of us prefer a mind that will challenge us. Some of us prefer a poet who, with a turn of a pen, crafts words pregnant with images borne of the heart.
It is easy to admire eye turning color. It is much more difficult to to a accept as beautiful a landscape seemingly devoid of color, a landscape more at home in a monochrome photograph than one captured in finely grained Kodachrome.
One must hunt beauty in the desert, change one’s view of beauty to find the exquisiteness in subtleties instead of the overt. It takes time to find the tiny yellow flower protected by a sea of thorns. It takes concentration to hear the distant trill of a bird riding the noise of a gentle breeze. It takes perspective to discern the geometric patterns in eroded rock.
Mostly, I miss laying ‘neath a billion stars representing the billions of dreams of humanity. I miss laying ‘neath a billion stars with my life’s star at my side, miss seeing those billion stars captured in the reflection her eye, miss that peaceful easy feeling of sleeping with my wife ‘neath a blanket of a billion, billion stars.