Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Joshua Tree Getaway

I love L.A., and I’ll be sad to leave …
but sometimes living here, in this sprawling megalopolis,
I start to feel sick for the sight of open sky, mountains, for clean air and silence and stars.

“Let’s go to Joshua Tree. Tomorrow.”

So we threw our bags in the car and drove until the city, at last, began to recede.
It's true, you can never leave your troubles behind you
--wherever you go, there you are--
but somehow, in the desert--glorious, vast, and quiet--
all the anxieties constricting, and sorrows weighing on my heart
somehow ease themselves and I feel healed, restored, stilled, at peace.

And there they were--the Joshua Trees.

We'd found a decent place to stay--Sunnyvale Garden Suites--
to call it "quaint" wouldn't do it justice.

The front office was done up like a Disneyland facade ...

Outside our room--a horseshoe.
I know it's superstition, but somehow, charms like this make me feel ... lucky.
Perhaps they just remind of how fortunate I am already.

We really were lucky--that night there happened to be an astronomy program at the visitor center.
We looked through a telescope and gasped at images of Saturn, Mars, and galaxy clusters.
A second, deep space telescope was hooked up to a large screen, offering views we'll never forget ...

The Sombrero Galaxy

The Ring Nebula

The Lagoon

The Swan

The Dumbell

Apparently, they have these astronomy programs about once a month--they said the next would be July 13. I think at this point, you probably would have to call or email the visitor center for the schedule--they haven't got the info up on the website.

So, anyway ...

Dear L.A. friends:
When your spirit is stifled and troubles are weighing you down,
go to Joshua Tree.
Look at the stars.
Enjoy the quiet.
And let your soul be stilled.

A heart-shaped rock ...

An amazing view ...

Such a strange and beautiful tree ...

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