In body or imagination, my husband and I visit the desert to interface wth God: canyons uplifted by spry gold grasses, ranges tinted the hue of antelope fur, springs signalled by saffron flowers, and plains as distantly silver as the stratus clouds above. Plains due to their vastness avail a paradoxically intimate awareness of God. And minimal evidence of man in the desert–views void of man-made structures except for the dirt road ahead; and the absence of signs relating to speed or direction–alludes to a sovereign realm.
“I can’t believe you’re moving to the boondocks,” my mother said recently, speaking to me on the telephone from her home in a small flourishing Maine city. She was referring to my dream of one day relocating with my husband to the Nevada desert. My mother, a poet, parses her words with award-winning precision. So I wondered whether I had caught a hint of condescension in her pronunciation of “boondocks,” perhaps a nod to the “backwards” definition, though not to the exclusion of “remote”. I pondered it for a moment then relinquished the possibility; instead I loved my mother’s words simply because they were hers. Such facile resolution is common for me lately, with troubles real or fantasied. Maybe it’s because I’m aging, ready to be letting go. Far more likely it’s my deepening faith, the blessing of God’s grace. Sure too, my peace is due to the proximate sovereign realm the boondocks afford.
p.s. My mother doesn’t esteem blogging either.