The husband and I went to “The Desert” this past Memorial Day weekend with his family, as is Memorial Day tradition. His uncle owns a tiny one bedroom house out there and everyone piles in there to hang out, barbecue, and ride dirt bikes for the weekend. And yes, I rode an ATV. By myself. Which involved learning to drive stick shift. And it was awesome (although I only got to third gear once).
So how do 16 people sleep in a one bedroom house? Like this: 7 people in 3 tents, 4 people sleeping in 2 cars, 2 in a bed, and three on fold out couches. To be fair, there was actually an empty bed in the bedroom, but no one wanted to (or could) sleep in there with his uncle’s snoring. Also, there was room in the living room on another couch and with extra floor space, but there was a minor scorpion scare that prevented others from risking their lives. But not me! I was so beat that I made the conscious decision that on the off chance that I did get bit, there were enough people around me to sweep me off to the hospital.
Nevermind that the next day I found out that the nearest one was an hour away…
I had full intention of taking lots of cool pictures to show my family what exactly this “desert house” entails, lest they get any wrong ideas. Only, I forgot my camera in the hub’s sister’s car after her birthday festivities. So instead, all I have are these pictures from three years ago when we went.
Old piano right outside the property
And then making up before a ride on the tiny bike…(did the big bike and the ATV this year)
Fortunately, his cousin is a professional photographer and took some cool ones that I hope to get my hands on. Here’s one of us playing bocce ball at sunset.
The desert house has a special healing quality for my husband’s cousin (cousin-in-law?). Several years ago he would go up there a lot after his divorce to get away from the world and have a space to think. Last Memorial Day he proposed to his girlfriend out here. I can see how its healing. The place seems so desolate, so hopeless at first, but a closer look shows that its teeming with life. Some of it looks like another planet! This isn’t the world I knew, its not supposed to be like this. Yet, there it is. Whether we choose to spend a lot of time there acknowledging it or not.
Its a place where shells of unused, burdensome things are left behind to make room for better things (like that old piano). The life that is here has just adapted differently to survive in its environment, so it doesn’t look like what we’re used to, or at least what I’m used to.
I guess the obvious parallel is that I feel as if I’m going through my own desert of sorts. These things and ideas that I thought sustained me are falling to the wayside and my feelings and thoughts towards things are taking new shape. I fear growing bitter, I hope and pray I don’t grow bitter, but at the same time I know that what’s going on within me and what will emerge from this will be different as a result of going through this desert. I know I won’t look the same and I know I better not look the same, or all this experience will be wasted.
I know the things I leave here will make room for better things. Things that will last eternity.