When I first moved to the desert, I questioned the landscape. It felt barren; the sand and cacti spreading out for miles offered little comfort. My move toward noticing the beauty happened over a period of time. My gaze tilted toward the hues of the flowers, the glorious sunrises and sunsets and the tranquility of what I feared the most when I moved here – the quiet in the landscape. In the last six years, my perspective shifted toward appreciating “what is” present in my surroundings. Now, a random walk leads to a new discovery in nature and this Spring is no exception.

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I love the contrast between the white and magenta and the background of gravel that frames this flower. The glory belongs to the unfolding of the petals and the yellow starburst that shoots from the middle.

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When I sense the ground quivering and struggle to walk with a steady balance, I tilt my head toward the sky. The Bougainvillea curved upward and at the right moment, the white swirls in the sky magnified the beauty of the pink. When I look at this particular shot, a sense of contentment spills inside of me.

One evening, ominous clouds shaded the sun in the desert sky. This is a rare occurrence, as rain is a luxury for most of the year. I feel lucky to witness the duality of the pendulum that I’ve described in this space for many years, that light and dark and happiness and sorrow are companions. My brief encounter with the clouds offered further confirmation to this personal truth.

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We all are faced with daily decisions. These two branches that laid in the dry grass brought to mind Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken, in particular these lines:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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The final shot I absolutely adore. The flower growing within the flower almost seems impossible, but there it is, the white petals standing and shooting out of the pink petals. I felt glee when I captured this shot, feeling so fortunate to witness such grace in nature. It brought one word to mind: abundance.

And for one second, it pushed me to contemplate how I’ve come full circle in the desert.

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I am pleased to announce my debut on The Mid. I love how this website focuses on the messy middle and presents pieces that highlight the struggles and joys of midlife. Please check out my essay, Losing a Father and Birthing a Daughter – a personal and dear piece that still brings me to tears.

The Mid

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