The longer I live in the desert, the more convinced I am that Mother Nature is an artist – the raindrops her brushstrokes, the wind her muse, the sun her sculptor.
At no time is her artistry more apparent than summer monsoon season.
Take, for instance, her transformation of the powdery blanket of dirt draped across the desert floor. Once unsettled molecules aching for moisture, the free-floating dust particles transform into something altogether different with a single raindrop.
With the deluge of rain, the earth softens, often unable to absorb the onslaught of liquid. Then the sun wrestles its way through the clouds again, baking the dirt with a heat so intense that the earth twists, writhes and curls under pressure. And just as suddenly, the rains come, the process starts again … a blank canvas once again awaits the hands of a great artist.
The artwork of these puddles is distinctively different at various stages of drying and deposition – a series of different artistic interpretations of the desert’s harshness, its potential lushness. Mother Nature’s artistry at work.
I know what others see: dried, cracked, brown dirt. But I see so much more. I see earth transformed into the malleable clay of a pot maker. I see the hardened veneer of cement. I see tiny fissures radiating like lifesaving arteries and veins. I see shaved flakes of milk chocolate (perhaps more a reflection of my sweet tooth than Mother Nature’s intended portrait).
For Writers: When do your ideas solidify? What makes them break down, pull away and splinter like the dried desert earth? Do you find you experience periods of deep saturation where you just can’t keep up? Or are you plagued with painful dry spells? How do you cope?