Even though we are “retired,” Clifford and I are busy as can be with our projects and domestic life here at La Posa South, south of Quartzsite, Arizona, our home for the winter.
Besides the morning walks in the desert and learning to play fiddle tunes on the viola, I edit for a couple of authors and write blogs. Photos are shared daily via text and messenger to keep family and friends up to date. Clifford does ham radio for several hours a day, flies with a flight simulator, and spends lots of time learning new music.
After Clifford gets himself a better drone, we go on an outing to try it out away from the camping area. With water, snacks, and my journal, I am set to entertain myself while Clifford flies his drone. This is cholla land, so walking is done with great care. As the sun gets low in the west, the light changes and the hills and mesas take on a rich warm color.
Finally toward the end of the month, I spot a few blossoms here and there, but nothing like the previous winters. Still, any blossom is a delight.
The creosote appears to be the one that is thriving.
Sunrise and sunset are special times of the day for me and I am always eager to see what colors will show up in the palette.
Clifford and I have been camped at La Posa South since late last November. Over the winter months I have established a routine of walking in the mornings, often taking a little thermos of tea and a small book of inspirational reading.
As March progresses, these walks continue, but the windy conditions make it sometimes a struggle to go as far as I’d like. With the approach of spring, the sun rises earlier and the sunshine soon warms the morning air, often too warm for me. Some of my more favorite places are traded for places to walk and sit closer to our campsite.
With the ongoing drought conditions, there are still no flowers blooming. Trees and snags remain the focus of my attention.
Most days we play celtic or bluegrass music, outside whenever we can, Clifford with his dulcimer and me on viola. He finds places out of the wind and enjoys his music time regardless of the conditions.
For the Uke Jam, the UK zoom group that Clifford plays with, in celebration of the spring equinox, everyone was to show up as a rock star, Clifford went as Elton John.
I sometimes take the cello outside, but music is always subject to the whims of the wind.
Sunset often offers delightful colors to end the desert day.
Camped at La Posa South, south of Quartzsite, Arizona, for the winter, I can’t help but notice the many differences between this year and February a year ago. For one thing, last winter’s rain brought blossoms to the desert, but the dry wind of this winter has left the land more barren with even the saguaros struggling for life. Despite this, I walk daily seeking the beauty of the land, whether it be the sunrise over Shale Mountain…
ancient trees with their complex growth patterns…
or a saguaro silhouetted at sunset.
I also walk because walking is an important part of re-establishing and maintaining health, and I keep my eyes open for heart-shaped rocks, almost always finding one on my saunterings.
The days flow one into another, usually having coffee with my brother Rollie and his finance Tata after the morning walk while Clifford is involved with his ham radio, then sitting outside to journal and read after breakfast. Most afternoons Clifford and I get together with Rollie and Tata to play music, choosing outdoors when the weather allows. Although the wind this winter has made playing outdoors more challenging, Clifford always finds himself a niche that will work.
While political, social, and health issues dominate the scene for most people, we are fortunate to be in a place where social distancing is the norm, and where, for the most part, we are unaffected on a day-to-day basis with the upheavals at hand.
Clifford and I are camped in the desert at La Posa South, south of Quartzsite, Arizona, having arrived in late November. This was not our intended destination this year, but this is where we are. Sometimes life demands rerouting.
I start my 2021 journal with the quote from Thich Nhat Hanh “The greatest miracle of all is to be alive.” I find this to be a powerful affirmative statement as I recover from the stroke of several weeks ago and as I see people suffering from the illness, quarantines, and isolation brought on by covid19.
A daily walk in the desert is part of my recovery regimen and my favorite time to go out is at sunrise.
Due to the extreme heat of last summer and the lack of rainfall, the early flowers are not blooming as they have in past years, but I am finding a different kind of beauty in the old trees, some struggling to show signs of life…
some long-gone, creating unique desert sculptures.
I am always pleased to end the day with the sun setting behind nearby mesquite and saguaro, as I never tire of the many layers coming together as they do at sunset.