Sunrise on the Desert

Last summer — and I remember the exact date — I decided life was too short to keep putting off those things my husband and I had been talking about doing for years. Sitting in doctors offices awaiting test results does wonders for putting priorities in order. I thought about all those things we always meant to do but put off for one reason or another — usually because we didn’t think we had time. A plan was put in motion, and we carried it out as soon as I had recovered from surgery.

By early October there was an empty spot in the garage where my beautiful little Lexus sports car had been parked. In its place, came my kickin,’ revvin,’ rockin’ and rollin’ Jeep Wrangler. It wasn’t long after that we took off for our first camping trip. Make that, my first camping trip since I camped in the High Sierras with my Girl Scout troop when I was nine. Tom is an old pro at camping. He and his buddies have camped and river rafted in the most primitive of places for years. I don’t do primitive. I require gourmet food, a bathroom nearby, a tent that can zip out creepy-crawly critters, a night-light for reading, and a cushy bed.

Many of our friends can’t understand our fascination with the desert. They’re quick to point out its shortcomings: Too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter. Harsh, windy, sandy, uncomfortable. I agree about the harsh conditions. But maybe that’s part of its draw — nature is in charge here. We are but sojourners, the most insignificant of visitors. Our only charge? To be committed to Creation care. And to breathe in its beauty — that rare beauty that not everyone sees.

One of the things I like best about the desert is how it constantly changes. I glory in the beauty of the rocky, jagged peaks, refined by centuries of earthquake upheaval and weathering; dunes, wind-rippled and sparkling in the sun; wildflowers with colors made more glorious because of their contrast with the soft hues of the landscape; oases surrounded by century-old palms and tiny blue pupfish in their ponds; streams that bubble and sing, framed by desert willows, their branches providing shade and shelter to the ever-present roadrunners and songbirds. There is no sweeter song than that of desert birds in the spring.

The most breathtaking beauty of all is the desert sunrise. To take photos, I was up by five, bundled from head to toe. I put on the coffee (Starbucks, of course) and waited with my camera for the first light of dawn. As the sun rose I thought back to the dark days of uncertainty in the summer, and with the Psalmist, I was able to say, “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” Amen!


A happy camper on the old Butterfield Stage Route.



God's child who takes joy in His patience and love; St. Francis follower who desires to live simply; author in awe of God's incredible grace; fledgling graphite and colored pencil artist trying to improve, one drawing at a time.
This entry was posted in Blogroll, Books by Diane Noble, Breast Cancer Survivors, Faith, Life, and Writing, Inspirational Writers, Parkinson's. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sunrise on the Desert

  1. Jan List says:

    Dear Diane,

    How wonderful to finally see a new entry! Congratulations on the new “buggie” What fun you will have, I am sure!

    Your Idyllwild friends all miss you and hope one day you will find the time to travel up the mountain to say hi.

    This morning we are in another winter wonderland something much needed as you well know.

    I will give you a call one day soon and catch up on everything.

    Love and hugs,

  2. Leslie says:

    Thanks for another inspiring post. While I’m not a big fan of the desert (give me the beach any day!) I do understand why some people (my husband included) love it. I enjoy reading your entries about the charms the desert offers.
    I’m glad to see that you haven’t completely lost your mind and given up the truly important things in life like Starbucks coffee (tongue firmly in cheek here). I recall the old days when you and Melody and hordes of other Building Four inhabitants would be grimly crowding around the coffee machine, your white knuckles clutching your cups as you waited for the brew to trickle into the pot. Monday mornings were a sight to behold… and then there was the dark day when the unthinkable happened, Melody was heard to shriek (as much as Melody was ever capable of conjuring up a shriek in her soft voice) “There’s no gourmet coffee!” It was quite the panic, but alas, you gourmands had been remiss in replenishing the Coffee Kitty and so it had run dry. When faced with the horrific thought of actually drinking the WV-provided Farmer’s Coffee or whatever that stuff was, you all dug deep and ponied up cash like a slot machine gone mad. Melody hot-footed it over to the store and got a pound of coffee while the rest of you nervously attempted to proceed with your morning duties, as best you could under the circumstances. A lesson was learned that day, I’m sure. Fortunately (or unfortunately, according to how you view it)I have always had an intolerance for caffeine and so was not personally affected by this heinous event, though I did get a good enough chuckle out of it to send out an e-mail to all parties concerned, commenting on the near-tragedy and how entertaining it was.
    Seriously, thanks for your inspiring words about nature, and I’m glad that you’re able to enjoy the camping experience. I used to love camping as a kid, in my old age I have abandoned the sport but do still appreciate the wonders that it does provide. I still have fond memories of the oneness with nature, and the feeling that one can only get from living out of doors.
    Life is good!

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