T. E. Lawrence, a/k/a Lawrence of Arabia, loved the desert. Like me he was reared in a rainy climate and later learned that he thrived in low humidity. Unlike me, he mastered the Arabic language. I bought his book The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, but never managed to finish it. Most authors from the British Isles are dense reads, except for Ian Fleming. (James Bond novels beat Shakespeare any day.) The T. E. Lawrence played in the epic movie by Peter O’Toole offered this wonderful answer to ‘Why do you so love the desert?’ If you saw the film Lawrence of Arabia (feel young if you didn’t: it won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1962), you’ll remember that grin of joy and delight as he replied: “It is so clean!”
It’s so dry. You must be frugal with water, and near zero humidity means you don’t sweat much. Not sweating means you stay clean longer and can save water. If you happen to catch a little rain, you hear the smell of life.
When you were a kid trying to draw something involving the American West, you always drew a saguaro cactus with two arms on the paper in green Crayola. Saguaros live here.
Ocotillo is a long, skinny cactus with hateful thorns and beautiful red flowers this time of year.
The Bureau of Land Management is in charge of most of America’s acreage that no one wants. BLM lands welcome RV campers, and they charge nada unless they offer services such as water or dump stations. Free is good.
Deserts are hard to live in, so nobody lives here. With no people there is no artificial light, and it gets very dark. I saw a crescent moonrise at 4:30 this morning. It was close enough to sunrise to have the golden hue of a rising full moon. Venus was right there with her. Star-gazing here is spectacular.
Even when the days are hot the nights are cool, which means good sleeping weather. An added bonus is absolute silence.
Mesquites have pretty little yellow flowers for a few weeks in the spring. Like free, flowers are good.
You can’t run your television or CD’s off Airstream batteries, but we can use our slow but sure 3G internet. We burned some battery power to play Pandora over our speakers. Last night we heard some cool old sounds on the P-box, but couldn’t get it to play what I really wanted: The Doobie Brothers doing Listen to the Music, or better yet, Another Park, Another Sunday.
Here’s a Doobies link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zk4AaPXZgi0
So much nothingness is thought-provoking, and when you pour the Doobies over that, nature takes the form of a religious experience.