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