It was 39 out there, which is a little chilly for a valley desert rat. I was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, so I wasn't uncomfortable. I could see a gap in the clouds between where the sun was and the horizon, so I figured the mountain would be fully bathed in sunlight when the sun got low enough, and the clouds around the summit would add a nice touch. Silly me. I didn't consider that the clouds to the west might be lower than the top of the mountain. Live and learn.
Anyway, since I was unaware that my mission was doomed to failure, I wandered around near the truck taking pictures of this and that (i.e., saguaros and cholla) and putting my hands in my pockets when they got cold. The scenery was beautiful, but I didn't pick a very good place to wander around. There were people camped nearby and they were zipping back and forth on ATVs with modified exhausts and they had a generator going and were blasting the desert with cheesy radio commercials. I picked the spot because of the view, though, and I was taking pictures and not making movies.
About 10 years ago my Dad said to me, "You never quit worrying about your children." At the time, I thought that he just worried too much. He should just let the kids fend for themselves and not worry about it. I was planning to throw my kids out when they turned 18 and forget about them. It didn't quite work out that way, though.
My Dad also told me, "Your [specifically mine] children have some growing up to do." I knew that was true back then, but I didn't expect it to still be so true today. Sometimes I wonder if I should have thrown them out. Maybe they would have grown up if they had no choice.
We have had some fun over the years, but the kids always seem to find new and creative ways to cause us stress and anguish. It really hurts when you realize that the one and only thing you can do that might help someone you love is to put them out on the street with the clothes on their back and $100 in their pocket, and turn your back and walk away.
2011 is already shaping up to outdo 2010, though. If you tell somebody that decision A is the path to security and peace of mind but decision B, while it might be fun for an evening, is the path to uncertainty and worry and possibly to boundless grief and sorrow, how can they be so short-sighted as to choose B?
When I walk through the desert, I see only the desert, and I hear only the desert, and usually I think only about the desert. I like to go alone, so nobody can bring my thoughts back to town. It looks harsh and it can be brutal, but in the desert I find only peace and tranquility.
I'm thinking I might need to spend more time in the desert in 2011.