The desert is a fragile yet tough place, like a wide, burly football player who cries at sappy romance movies. Those who don't know the desert well might assume it is unchanging. In the Spring, when there has been plenty of rain, it alters and flourishes with color. Alas, not this year as you can see from photo above. It's been so dry my car windshield wipers forgot how to work.
While hiking this week on a familiar trail outside of Phoenix a few days ago, I thought the desert, and the drought here in the southwest, is a metaphor for my own creative life. The lack of rain similar to the lack of time and attention I've been giving to my writing.
I don't know about you, but I get busy busy, like a bee building a hive, with tasks, appointments, family obligations, work, and life. Oh it's not that I'm complaining. I enjoy so much about life, my family and friends, but just like the flowers missing from the desert this year, the color creativity gives to my life is absent. Sure I feel productive when I check off something on my weekly to do list, tell someone how much I accomplished that day. Sometimes it's as if I'm trying to prove I'm worthy to be on this earth. Look how much I can do in a day! Aren't I amazing.
I finished my hike and I realized I had looked mostly down on the ground during my walk. Well, it is important to look out for snakes and other things that bite. I stopped and, beneath the hot sun, gazed at the sky. It looked like thousands of angel wing's stitched together. As I write this now, I think oh that sounds dumb. There's that inner critic again, the enemy of creativity.
I write the sentence anyway.
The desert isn't ashamed because it it lacks Spring flowers this year. It isn't beating itself up because it is in a drought.
I made a promise to write even if the time I have, and the work I do, feels as insignificant as that one yellow poppy. Our creative lives do matter, if only to us.