Wednesday afternoon, March 9, we arrived at a campground in Catavina. As I lay cocooned in my sleeping bag I stared up at the night sky illuminating the desert around me. I watched as the moon inched its way across the black backdrop, dragging the stars along with it. They lulled me into a sleep full of dreams, which once again, escaped the grasp of my memory. The warm rays of the rising sun woke me as they hit my closed eyes, turning everything orange behind my eyelids.
After spending two days driving through the desert landscape I was itching to have some time to walk out into it and settle my mind. That morning, after packing my bedding, I walked into the hills overlooking our camp. I didn’t have a plan. I just walked. I would walk a few yards and then stop and listen to the desert around me. I heard crows waking up from their night perched on the top of a huge Cardon cactus. I heard the wind rushing through the low shrubs and the elephant trees. I heard voices echoing up from the valley. I heard nothing. The silence was startling but beautiful. I stood still in it for a long time and realized that it is not very often that you are surrounded by such serenity. My feet carried me farther and farther up the cactus-laden hillside. Everything had been so still that when I saw movement on the ridge a few yards from me, I was alarmed. The coyote stared at me. And I stared back. We watched each other for a few minutes before he slipped away and blended with the land.
I started my meander back down the hill. On my way I stopped to sit on the top of a big, round granite boulder. I shut my eyes and fell into a sort of meditation with the land. I could feel the earth beneath and around me. The cactus, the sand, the rabbit, woodpecker and coyote. The sun beating down on my back, the stone beneath me and the bones littering the ground. This was ancient, wise…sacred.
Written en route to Bahia de Los Angeles, Baja California, Mexico
Photo by Annabelle