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Cynthia’s Story

Cynthia's Story

One sunny fall day at the turn of the last century, I took a random journey deep into the Mojave Desert. With Las Vegas in my rearview mirror, my road got pretty exciting cresting the Spring Mountains, and even more so when it dropped down onto a middle of nowhere highway on into California.  But when a sharp steep twisting put me high on a ridge dividing Two valleys, I just couldn’t believe my eyes.  Forever mountain ranges in brilliant and hazy desert light made me ache in the strangest way with the sight of it.  Onward, I was surprised by a cool, moist, green corridor on either side of the road, followed by a creepy ramshackle encampment (Tecopa, where I now live).  Then down, down, down into a thick oasis, the terminus of thousands of journeys before me.  I was home in the profoundest sense.  But how to live here, never leave?  Oh, I know.  I will just close my business, sell my home, cut my city connections, and make it work.

I did make it work. But first I had to learn many things from scratch. In that epic personal journey, the desert beat me up, cradled me, challenged me, nurtured me, scared me, and finally empowered me. I know tarantulas are kindly creatures on a mission every October, I know coyotes think I’m ridiculous and entertaining. I know Great Horned Owls have no fear of any living creature, and vultures care only for the dead. I know pack rats will actually steal my jewelry. Billion-year-old rocks have the magic of teaching deep time. The less technology the better. Growing old is as wonderful as being young. The dark night sky is heartbreaking, but I have to watch.  Walking on footpaths made by the ancient feet made me understand I am no different – same problems different epoch. And finally, when people walk on my footpaths, it will be the same.

The desert is where I belong, because it effortlessly touches my ancient self, and when it happens it’s a relief as familiar as it is strange. If you are open, the desert will teach you all manner of amazing things about you, too. If you think you want to immerse yourself in such a place and see what happens, I will do my best to share all the secrets and special places I have discovered in my time here. It is my great joy.

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