I grew up in northern California and in my 20’s, moved to southern California for work. I lived there for 5 years, and absolutely fell in love with Joshua Tree. My husband and I would go out there once or twice a year. We’d usually rent a cabin, hike and just enjoy nature.
When I get out to the desert the first thing I notice is the silence. It’s quiet, so quiet you can hear the wind rustling in the leaves of small plants, and often that’s all you hear. That’s it. No garbage trucks rumbling down the road, no sprinklers, background freeway noise, or car alarms. This quiet suddenly brings a sense of peace, and you realize all these noises of urban and suburban life are happening all the time, and you simply don’t realize it.
The second thing I notice is how big the sky looks. I find it in places all throughout the West, in Utah, Arizona, Nevada. But suddenly above me is this huge expanse of blue, and I feel as if anything is possible. It makes me feel small and connected at the same time, connected to nature and society. As if the one thing we all have in common is living under this big blue sky.
A weekend in the desert heightens awareness of my daily life, but doesn’t diminish it. It simply reminds me that nature is only a few hours away. You can read more about other’s experiences here.