Plant Magic

On the west coast, that would be the name of a weed dispensary. Photo from Speakzeasy Blog.

I have been in many places in Arizona, and had almost forgotten the perfection of the Sonoran Desert. Saguaro, Ocotillo, Teddy Bear Cholla, barrel cactus, and palo verde trees are arranged in ways that cannot be improved upon by human cultivation. To me this plant community is the equivalent of a moss-draped Pacific Northwest old-growth forest, yet totally resistant to a homey human touch. A cedar-clad cabin with wide eaves and a front porch, with a curl of smoke coming from a river rock chimney is not amiss in the woods. Here any human endeavor looks like a scar.

We headed into part of Saguaro National Park, and like a total fool, I took a short walk in flip-flops. Everything here has spines, and is straining toward soft flesh, it seems. But even without the fabulous spring blooms of the different cacti, it is a work of art. It soothed my soul at just the right time.

Arizona, in my mind, was mostly a barrier to get past. My only sibling lives there, whose behavior towards me has been, to me, unbelievably dishonorable and treacherous. The thought of driving into the same state had made me feel nauseated at times. It was actually all right; as soon as I saw the Sonoran Desert from Interstate 10, I felt the same delight and fascination that I did the first time.

I am now in Lordsburg, New Mexico. As I approached the state line, a big rainstorm hung in the sky to the north. Janet and I had climbed out of the worst of the heat, and soon after we got parked at a truck stop, it swept across the open landscape and rinsed everything off.