i’m in the desert. i forget that the desert is beautiful. i forget that if you know how to look for beauty, you’ll see it. until thursday night, i had forgotten that a jackrabbit’s long gangly back legs and tall ears were beautiful. i had forgotten that the sky stretches long across the flat desert and stretches tall over rocky hills. i had forgotten that the desert blooms in november. i had forgotten that the brightest yellow flowers open in the desert and that fuchsia flowers on long vines reach out to kiss me. i had forgotten that the desert cold feels warm to me. i had forgotten that peppers taste spicy sweet in my tequila in the desert. i had forgotten that the wind smells like black night star-filled sky. i had forgotten that i love the desert in november, december, january, and february. i had forgotten that i am at home everywhere beauty dwells and that i see it everywhere.
i attended a memorial service yesterday for a 93-year-old friend of mine. he had big teeth and a bigger smile and i knew him for 20 years and he flirted with me because he flirted with everyone and he loved his wife of 67 years. i hugged his wife exactly seven times yesterday, and i held her close without letting her go for a long long moment during every one of those hugs. i remind his wife of her younger self and she tells me every time she sees me that i am beautiful. i reply every time, “not as beautiful as you” because it is true. she is a lifetime more beautiful than i am. she has spent her 93 years on this planet noticing and appreciating the beauty that surrounds her and all that beauty is reflected in her eyes, in her smile, in her hugs.