Thursday, June 10, 2010

Desert solitude

It was just a few minutes past that golden hour, when the sun rises from beneath that rusty brown horizon, painting everything around it fiery shades of golden and red. My camera sat atop a rock in the campsite as I stood warming myself near the campfire, shivering slightly in the morning cold, watching the sun slowly rise higher and higher up into the blue sky, warming up the rugged desert landscape from its cold night of slumber.

I relish my moments of solitude, and will go to any lengths to attain them – camping in remote areas far from civilization, hiking unknown trails, taking vacations completely unannounced, traveling in the coldest, most tourist un-friendliest months, finding places that others haven’t discovered yet – anything to get away from people. Because every so often, I feel the need to be completely alone. It isn’t loneliness. It’s simply solitude. Giving myself some breathing space. Allowing myself to exhale. Listening to the whispers of my soul.

And so I stood, watching the red buttes of the landscape change color around me, listening to the sound of the wind rustling through the shrubs, when out of nowhere a scrawny stray dog ambled into my view. It had no tags, no collars. No sign of being owned or having a companion. Free to wander. All alone.

Completely oblivious to my presence, he stood right there in front of me. Gazing at the landscape, paying homage to the desert wilderness before us.

It struck me then that perhaps he too was greeting the morning much the same way as I was. Relishing a few moments of complete solitude in the noisy world around us. Greeting an empty day uncoiled with hours stretched ahead.

I slung my camera around me and took a photo of that memory – the early morning, the desert landscape, the stray dog and desert solitude.

~vagabond~ © 2010