I’ve spent most of my life by the ocean, covered in salt and sun. It’s a romance that will last a lifetime. In my mind, there’s no doubt about it. To move away from the sea, to not live even within an hour of its reach would be challenging and most likely painful. I’m in love with that massive puddle, mostly because when I'm in the water I feel nothing but pure freedom. That being said, I’m having an affair with the desert, specifically the rhythmic lands of Joshua Tree. And I'm okay with that.
I was lucky enough to grow up with the ocean at my feet and the desert just a few hours drive away. Escaping to these barren lands brings me so much peace and comfort. It’s a place that appears dead but life is pulsating and thriving, even if you can't see it. The desert is almost asleep and its slow-paced character is what wakes me up and brings me to life. I go out there to escape the real world and find that inner peace that gets pushed down when things get too tough or life gets too chaotic. I don't know what it is about the desert but when I leave, I feel recharged, like an old car battery that just needed a little jump.
I've been coming to Joshua Tree for years now, lucky enough to have an uncle with a cabin close to the entrance of the Joshua Tree National Park. He’s spent the majority of his life exploring, hiking and rock climbing this desolate terrain and I plan to do the same. Like a coyote howling to the moon, something instinctual happens out here and to this day I am still trying to find the words. That's the thing about the desert; once it grabs a hold of you, it never lets go.
This place attracts a certain breed of human, as nature tends to do that. People who aren't worried about how they look and what others may think of them. They don't seem to bother themselves with the gossip of our culture or what they saw on the news that night. These people are here for nature, to fuse with it and see how it changes them without changing it. It’s said that the wilderness can heal civilization, and to me the desert is a spiritual place with endless healing. It's so different from the ocean, not better or worse, just different, a different kind of pulse that can only be obtained out here among the endless Joshua Trees.
When I'm out here, the whole world stops. Days have no numbers. You're on another planet, connecting to the cosmos like some ancient healing ritual. I will always love the ocean but I need to visit the desert every now and again just to refresh my soul. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the healing powers of nature, no matter where you are. If it’s a forest, the desert or the sea, find a connection and see what happens.