Showing posts from April, 2016

The last day of April

Lest we forget, when April arrives, "with his shoures soote," I read poetry. Because it is the "cruellest month, breeding / lilacs out of the dead land, mixing / memory and desire..." I know I say that every year, but it seriously strikes me like clockwork: the strange and consuming desire to read poetry this glorious, lush, dynamic month.

This April was the first time I got to share my love of poetry with a class of college English students. Mostly they just stared at me, But a few of them got it; I could tell. "Much maddest is divinest sense," I told them. Don't worry if anyone thinks you're crazy. Read Thoreau and study ants. Read Mary Oliver and study grasshoppers. "What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" I ask them, and I think they hear me; her words are not hard to understand. They are writing research papers about rebels. I guess I've made my point pretty clear. Oftentimes I leave class with thoughts …

Beatty Clan Spring Desert Road Trip, Part Three: Anza Borrego Desert

It felt like coming home. We drove into the little town of Borrego Springs over a long, bleached, dusty, roller coaster road. Everything about it felt right to us: the big green center square, the hand painted signs, the rusty metal, the taquerias, the ice cream parlors, the cacti and the stucco benches and the rocky canyons awash with delicate blooms. The knowledge that all through those rocky hills, bighorn sheep make their way, like a blessing to the land and the people. We are here; we know life. 

"Desert bighorns are gregarious herbivores with clear, predictable, edgy social rituals. Their loyalty to the group into which they were born, and to their natal home range, is extreme. There is even a word for this: philopatry."  - Ellen Meloy, Eating Stone
Sounds kind of familiar.
No wonder. We found our way to the pale and inviting openness that is Borrego Palm Canyon Campground around dusk time, after our adventures leaving Joshua Tree National Park out its southern end. We…