17 March 2016

Leaving my Desert

Okay so yeah, like I mentioned in my last post - WE ARE MOVING! This was a total surprise and I have no idea how I'm going to handle leaving California behind! Truth be told we are quite comfortable here, and 5 months ago when my dad was telling me that Matthew needed to go back to school, I was patiently trying to explain that there was no way we were moving haha!

I can't tell this story without bringing up our beliefs because that is the only reason we are going. We pray often, and all of the sudden (at the end of December) our prayers were answered quickly and clearly that we needed to move. To Idaho. So Matthew can go to school. Now, we weren't even praying specifically about this, haha, that's just the answer we got. So that's what we're doing!

Everything has worked out really nicely, and I know it will continue to work out nicely as long as we go this direction, because this is the path we are meant to take right now. SO! April 18 is our move date and until then we will be selling furniture on craigslist to try to squeeze into an apartment, selling our extra vehicle, cleaning, packing, and working on selling our house.

The first thought that came to my mind after deciding to move was that I should have done more to document our life in California. I want more pictures of the beach, I want more pictures of the mountains, and most importantly, I want more pictures of my desert! 


So I ventured out last weekend with my tripod and my self timer remote, and took some pictures of myself amongst the Joshua trees that mean so much to me.


Every single morning when I was little, as far back as I can remember, I would wake up excited about the day ahead. I would or would not change out of my pajamas, depending on my mood. Putting on shoes never crossed my mind. Then I ran to my neighbors house - separated from mine by my grandparents' home - and would arrive breathlessly at my destination, pounding on the door. Sometimes it would take a while for me to hear stirring inside (the sun hadn't been up for very long, after all) and a sleepy, sometimes grumpy face would appear. "Can little Jay play?" 


In the desert, little Jay and I were more than just two dirty little kids. We were adventurers, observers, and students. I did not know how to count to ten, but I knew to keep a five foot radius around all cacti because their spikes will jump in the wind. I knew that my feet were made for walking and running and they did their job magnificently. I knew that worms were fun to hold but they must be returned the moist Earth to live - same with flowers - they had to be appreciated from where they were. I learned SO much about life and myself and God by observing the Earth this way. I could see His hand in every stink beetle, cacti, rock, and bunny disappearing into a hole.

Everyday I explored the same 7 acres of desert, but everyday it was different and I never got bored. Sometimes you would find me hurdling bushes and racing barefoot after little Jay on his bike, sometimes I would be silent for a (seemingly) long stretch of time to observe a newly blossomed flower no bigger than one of my fingernails. After storms, we would look for puddles and fallen Joshua trees to climb on. In the spring we would capture ladybugs for hours, and store them in my grandmothers abused Tupperware. Sometimes we would carve stairs into the large mound of dirt referred to as "The Hill" and pretend it was our castle. 


I later learned that most people find my desert ugly, but this just made me identify with it even more. We were both misunderstood, me and my desert. I remember dreading kindergarten and the significant amount of freedom I would lose to class time. School is no place for a wild child who hates shoes, constantly has dirt under her fingernails, and never brushes her hair, haha! I lashed out in kindergarten, and the fact that my teacher wasn't very nice didn't help. I got sent to the principals office five or six times that year, but he would just smile gently at me from behind his desk while talking to me about subjects that were seemingly unrelated to what I did wrong. I think he understood how hard kindergarten was for a girl like me.


No matter where I live, I hope to teach my children that there is beauty to be found in even the most unlovable places. I will have framed pictures of my desert in every house I live in. I want my children to know that this is a special place to me. I hope to take them camping in Joshua Tree National Park and watch their eyes light up the same way mine did while exploring this small, unique part of the Earth so many years ago.


1 comment

ashleynicole @ [real life, real love] said...

These pictures are beautiful, you are beautiful, and your writing is beautiful! I'm sorry you have to leave your beautiful home, but happy to have you coming closer to me :)

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