Wednesday, April 10, 2019

In the Desert

The smell of desert marigolds is one of my favorite scents of all.

They smell like they've been baked by the sun, warm and golden and strong.

Spring is beautiful and terrible. The shocking transition from winter into summer and the gorgeous weather and the piles and piles of wildflowers appearing everywhere, even on the side of the road and in parking lots. The desert marigolds are my favorite because they're the ones I was always most used to seeing.

They came at the time when the school year was traditionally getting close to being over, that time when you're most stressed over classes and most looking forward to the next phase and yet also maybe a little apprehensive about what might be next (like college after high school). The association, then, is with that duality.

Wildflowers are also ephemeral. They spring up in beauty, but don't pick them; they'll die almost instantly. You'll never see a bride with a bouquet of wildflowers; it just doesn't work that way. Wildflowers are part of the land, part of the earth; you have to leave them there and admire them as you walk through. And when spring is done?

The desert marigolds will be gone. Don't worry, though, you'll see them again next year, like clockwork, as the saying goes.

And soon you'll get to see the saguaro blossoms instead. You won't smell them in the air, perhaps, but seeing them is like seeing magic. The desert always has something new to show off.

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