Having accessibility to the outdoors is something I didn’t realize I would not only miss but crave once it was gone. It never crossed my mind that being close to mother nature would become a necessity. The few moments I now spend in nature […]
As much as I would like to think I was exposed to all things culture growing up, I still find myself learning about places, things, and people. One person in particular that has resonated with me over several years now is Georgia O’Keeffe. It may not seem as a surprise to some with my recent love for the desert coming forth but the more I’ve learned about her the more I see myself in some ways. The more time I spend in the desert the more inspiration I feel and understanding I have on why Georgia O’Keeffe escaped to New Mexico and produced some of her best work.
I never suspected a landscape like the desert would have such a big impact on me as it has. The mountains have always been home in more ways than one, no questions asked. The desert always made me nervous with its unknown terrain, wildlife, and lack of familiarity. The only time I’ve spent in the desert was after graduating high school early and partaking in a semester in the wilderness through National Outdoor Leadership School. This time in the desert was much different and the affect was overwhelming. A feeling of belonging consumed every part of me and a fire began to burn deep within. I’d like to think Georgia O’Keeffe had a similar feeling during her first visit to New Mexico. I’m beginning to think it’s the place loners discover and feel like they belong for once.
For as long as I can remember, the most at home I have ever felt has always been in Colorado. The mountains give me peace, comfort, and nostalgia, I can feel it throughout my entire being. I have never questioned that my home truly is in the Rockies until recently I experienced a place that shook that feeling to its core. Last September I travelled to Joshua Tree, after seeing and hearing amazing stories I was finally experiencing it for myself. To be honest, the desert has never been something I have thought much about and frankly when I did, I associated it with heat that I would find unbearable and home to my biggest fear, snakes, all the snakes. My perspective of this ecosystem was completely altered during my time in Joshua Tree, first realizing the obvious, no desert is the same, second realizing there was something here that was tugging at me.
The feeling I felt was not nearly the same when I am in Colorado but something else I can’t seem to pinpoint. It was tugging at my soul, giving me inspiration in places I thought were hopeless, making me see beauty again in the darkest of places within myself and lastly, showing me how breathtaking a place that I’ve always been scared of could be. After that first visit I knew it was a place that I had to go back to soon for it was imperative for my health and well-being. A second trip was immediately booked the day I returned to Brooklyn and six months later I found myself celebrating turning a year older in a place that gives me hope, not only for myself but for life.
I remember boarding the flight back to Brooklyn after this past visit and as the wheels lifted off the tarmac, I could slowly feel a part of me drifting away, as though saying goodbye for now. That part was a section of my soul that was refusing to leave, wanting to stay behind, in hopes of me returning. I still feel it now, a little section that longs for the dry desert sun, utter silence, and days and nights that blend together in blissful harmony. Soon I’ll return… to retrieve that part of my soul.
“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.”
— Georgia O’Keeffe, 1976
As I mentioned in my 2017, A Year in Review post, I did quite a bit of traveling last year. I discovered the most amazing places around the East Coast. A highlight for sure was the trip we took over Thanksgiving.
A couple months ago I discovered this beautiful, quaint cabin through Instagram and immediately booked a weekend for us there. The cabin is the epitome of rustic, all electricity is run on solar power, out-house, and an outdoor shower when the weather permits. They advertise it is an off the grid cabin and there is no better way to describe it. Being Brooklynites it was exactly what we needed, a space to be off the grid where no phones/connections could distract us from reconnecting with each other and the outdoors.
There was a stove for us to do all our cooking along with a wood furnace that kept the cabin nice and toasty. I will say Ajax had no problem adjusting to the rustic life, I secretly think he wanted us to say there forever. We always notice a change in his demeanor when we go someplace similar that is in the outdoors. He thrives when having plenty of space for him to run around. Not to mention he loves mountain air, you can see it when he takes moments to just stand there, lift his nose in the air and breathe it all in.
When it was time for us to check out I won’t lie, I got a little teary eyed because I was not ready to leave. We had the most amazing time there and to make it even harder to leave it snowed on our very last day, transforming us into a winter wonderland. After being all packed up and only a few miles down the road heading back to the city we were already discussing that we should come back in the warmer months to experience it in a different season along with utilizing that outdoor shower they had.
If you happen to live on the East Coast or are looking to take a trip over here, I highly recommend you go off the grid at this cabin. You won’t regret it and you’ll feel completely rejuvenated after your stay.