Tagged: The Anza-Borego Desert; Community Page; Anne Wilson
In early March, the Anza-Borrego desert is in bloom. That is when a miracle of the season occurs. I have always been fascinated with Scriptural references to the desert experience, for many of these allude to the fact that the desert (both materially and metaphysically) prepares us to listen to God’s voice in the emptiness of our own souls.
Certain scriptural references alluding to this have always been among my favorites, including the one that goes, “I shall lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there” (Hosea 21: 16-17). At times, I feel sorely in need of God’s “tender speech” when life becomes most challenging. Even finding the time to appreciate and marvel at God’s gifts on earth is not always easy to do. My soul had become hungry for beauty—the kind that nurtures us, renews us, and imparts special insightsand a sense of the sacred. I knew that I needed to revel in this beauty, and realized that to love God’s creation is in itself a way of offering thanksgiving and praise.
Years of an exhausting work schedule after my husband’s death made me thirst for God’s tenderness and Christ’s promise of water that would quench our thirst forever (John 4:7). Still, I was unprepared to happen upon the miracle of the Anza-Borrego Desert in early March after a month of soggy Southern California rain—even more welcome after a wildfire had swept through the region the year before, mingling ash with mud, choking the waterways. Then, suddenly rain brought life back to our hills, revived mossy trunks that had been blackened, and birthed vibrant leaves. One weekend, a friend and I planned a drive to the Anza-Borrego Desert, only an hour’s drive from San Diego. As we descended the slopes of the Laguna Mountains, we could see the hazy pastels of the desert floor in the distance. Coming into the desert itself, flowers formed a fragrant sea of textured color that stretched from one horizon to the next.