About Me

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Somewhere in the Mojave Desert, California, United States
Gazing into this abyss called Life and wondering.....what's next !?!!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

So long and Hello...


Merry Christmas (I'm on traditional time...) and Happy New Year!

Feeling nostalgic on this last eve of 2014. It's been an eventful yet good year for me, all in all. The nest is empty for the most part. I've had to adjust to not having to be "on" for someone else besides me on the home front. I had imagined all this free time filled with experiences I've been saving up to do once my family fledged the nest. Funny, but it seems I've never been busier with little free time, even on weekends, to do all the hiking, photographing, creating art, traveling, socializing I thought I was going to do. Looking back, I think I purposefully filled those spaces left open with mindless stuff to not feel the potential emptiness.... Empty, yes. Lonely, no. I am relishing the solitude.

My reserves needed refueling.

I had thought about doing an article on the best bits of 2014 or something like that. But, nah. I know what those are and that is enough. My energies these last few hours of 2014 will be purging, cleaning, clearing out clutter while sending out healing light and strength to those who need it most right now. So, while many are out celebrating, I've chosen to stay cozily in on this freezing cold night. We had a beautiful dusting of snow last night, leaving the roads slick and the desert hills softened. I feel an open hopefulness on my own horizon. Many opportunities have fallen onto my path - trinkets from my dreams to remind me to keep moving forward to what I imagined most to experience in what's left of this Life. I like the idea of quietly greeting the new year from a grounded place of gratitude. I need to make it my daily beginning and end again. No resolutions to feel pressured to complete. No promises to break. Just moving through the day with appreciation for what is.

It's a foolproof way to feel moderately happy and content every day - pretty much.

I have several friends who are battling some life altering challenges right now. They seem so young for this. One with young children yet to raise. One with many dreams yet realized. Instead of journaling my own Life's dreams and goals for these next 12 months as I might tend to do, I've decided to spend this evening in quiet contemplation and prayer - not for me but for my friends and acquaintances who will continue to face their own uphill struggles in 2015.

Here's to a 2015 of gratitude always; appreciating what is; better health; much Joy; peace of Heart; and leaving the door open for those surprises that make Life sweet.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

When the desert isn't dry

Oh my. Such interesting weather we've had this past week. 4 straight days of drizzle, soft rains, and dense fog. Today, day 5, sees a dawn of blue skies only to become shrouded in clouds again. My pellet stove is cleaned out and ready. Camera cards reformatted. Batteries charged. Toby is harnessed up and anxious to head out and see what this weather has unearthed on his favorite trails for him to nose around in. I love the feel of wet earth beneath my boots and damp, sage-scented air on my skin.

Precipitation in the desert makes us desert dwellers all giddy. I wish I could attach the smells with this post. Wet earth mixed with sage, cedars, and pinion pine with a touch of creosote. Even the granite boulders have their own odor. You can't help but take deep, gulping breaths when you step outside. The cloudy skies redefine the horizons, giving great depth and contrast to the valleys and surrounding hills and mountains.

Last Wednesday was the first of the dense fog days. Of course, I was holed up in class all day. My students and I frequently stopped and marveled at the changing view outside of our door. The mountain behind our school would disappear into the fog as it crept up to the perimeter block wall - intermittently disappearing and reappearing all day. There was a hushed stillness outside as if someone cloaked us with a soft, thick blanket. As soon as school let out, I headed for the national park campground just up the road from school. With only an hour of daylight left, there was no time to head into the interior of the main part of the park. I had the wherewithal to grab my camera bag on the way out the door that morning....hoping the fog would hang out for more than a few hours. I wasn't disappointed. It hung out for a few days!

Here are just a few smartphone snaps for now. Oh the wonder of wetness in a dry land....


I wandered away from the car up the path a bit. One minute the skies were clearing. The next, without warning, I was enveloped in a deep fog again. It was easy to get turned around and lose a sense of where I started from.  Take a deep breath. Can you smell the sagebrush and junipers? Mmm..


As seen on the way home. A Christmas tree emerged from the fog in someone's yard. Caught me by surprise the first go around. So I doubled back to check it out again.... Not film grain. Just lots and lots of fine water droplets...

©DianaShayDiehl   Shot with an iPhone4
I appreciate when nature makes us stop in our race to get through the day and pay attention to the finer details of our lives.