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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

For Tag, Who Liked the Image Just From My Words

I have been fortunate to spend two winter solstice holidays at a very special desert location and plan to do so again in 2009. While the rest of the world seems firmly wrapped in winter, this place is so lovely, one can wear shorts and a T-shirt during daylight hours. The sand dunes are beautiful and deafeningly quiet. They make for a vigorous hike.

One year, I'd had a health scare and days before the trip had had a very large blood transfusion. I was depressed, physically at a low point, and frightened. We took it slow and easy, the Badger going off on his own for some hikes while I napped in the tent. We read and ate well - full holiday fare. On our final full day there, I allowed as how I thought I might like to hike the dunes, rather than a flat trail.

We struggled along in the loose sand for a long time. I was no ball of fire. Finally reaching a ridgeline, we walked along it for a long way, feeling disappointed that our footsteps marred the perfectly windswept sand. "Whoa!" I heard him say. There on the sand, in its own microcosm of tiny dunes and ripples, was the loveliest, tiny lavender flower, so out of step with the surrounding environment it was unbelievable. It was well rooted in the sand, and one wonders where it got moisture to survive. I've always considered it (and the photos) a very special little gift of hope at a time when I was very low.

This little blossom was not florist shop perfect. It was sandy! But I liked it better than perfect blooms. It reminded me that beautiful things can root in a harsh environment and thrive. I needed that reminder at that particular time. I needed that reminder today, too.

Photo credits: J. D. Morehouse

In my ears right now: Bloomsbury Bird and Benson Bird singing loudly in the sunny windowsill.

Something that charmed me: Tag's appreciation of the imagery even though I used very few words.


  1. This afternoon has become a time of beautiful things. I'm add a bit more on that to todays blog. Badger's photos are wonderful as always. I'm not familiar with the desert flora but are these flowers violets?

  2. Magically beautiful! I love the desert and its wonders.

  3. @ Tag - the desert is full of flowers that are similar to species found in other habitats, like marigolds vs. desert marigolds, primrose vs. desert primrose. I don't know if this little specimen is actually of the violet family, but it seems similar. It IS a day of beauty, Tag! Thanks for making me muse about solstice so I'd remember the little flower.

    @ Kass - a woman after my own heart. You know I believe it's the best place to be.

    @ Tag AND Kass - YOU two have set me on a writing task I'm calling Scrambled Eggs ~ threads of thought you each sparked in me. I'm having trouble wrapping it all together, but I'll get there. When it appears, Scrambled Eggs is dedicated to you both.

  4. I knew Nevada was mostly desert, but I didn't know it was sandy desert. That kind of sand I associate with the Middle East. Shows how much I know. Do you have any idea in acres or square miles just how much area those sand dunes cover?

  5. Hey, Kirk, this particular spot is over the line into California. Throughout the Mojave, there are many spots of local dunes areas. I found a good website describing this set, and it described everything EXCEPT the size. I'll try to research that further. The answer is "not miles and miles and miles". This is a smallish set of dunes. But I'll get real information to be more specific. Go here:


  6. Oh, I don't want to take up you time with a lot of research, Limes. I just thought if you go there a lot you might know. I bet they filmed some of those Foreign Legion films there back in Hollywood's golden period.

  7. Kirk, I promise you it's easy to find out. It's just that I'm a "girl" and I don't know a yard from a mile. I just want to confirm what I think. Foreign Legion films out there wouldn't surprise me at all.

  8. @ Kirk - and I'll have you know I noodled this out for myself and simply asked for confirmation - quite proud of that! Although we make it a 5 mile hike walking to, around and on the dunes, it would be about a 2 mile circumference around the base of the dunes. The height varies, of couse, due to the shape of the dunes at any moment in time. There are several deep crevasses one wouldn't want to slide into because one likely would never get out.

  9. Welcome aboard the bus, my dear friend. Yes, are they not beautiful? This afternoon on e-mail the photographer said, "I read your post. I always liked that shot of the dunes." I enjoy that dunes shot, as well, but that little flower meant a lot to me at that moment.