Surprised By Life

I have relocated, and am now staying with my 93-year-old father. We’re muddling on okay together, we two virtual hermits who have lost our mates. He keeps to his schedule, and I keep to mine, though my schedule is less structured than his. I try to take a walk most days, and I bring my camera with me to see capture whatever beauty I might see. It’s a practice I started a couple of years ago to help me with my writing, a way to replenish my creative wells.

I had forgotten that this valley, like the mesa where I had been living for the past two decades, is surrounded by mountains, so mountains still form the backdrop of my life, making me feel a bit more at home than I expected from such an alien place. And it is alien — high desert rather than high plains, and city rather than country. I’d expected to have to walk along suburban streets, getting lost in the labyrinth of subdivisions, but on one of my first treks, an arroyo beckoned — sort of an alley way between houses — and I took that untraveled path. (Well, not exactly a path, more like a place for flash flood waters to run off. Good thing the day was clear and dry.) And then there I was — in the middle of the desert. Yup. Just me and mountains and knolls and sandy roads. And a few very tiny flowers struggling to live in the bleak sand and heat. (Seems like a good metaphor for my life right now.) Surprised the heck out of me.

Life has held many surprises for me lately, most of which were not good, and since I don’t know what I’m doing or where I’m headed, I’m sure life will continue to surprise me.

(These yellow flowers are those on the bushes in the other photos.)