> jumping into life.

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Weather shifts like a snake in new skin. Just north of Monument Valley, thick clouds part to give us one clear slice of sunlight. The cliffs to the west are shot through with dull gold, glowing against a dark sky. Ahead, the Monuments themselves, weird rock formations that float in mist like the distant shores of some desert Avalon.

The land looks so different in this slanted storm light; on the drive up the sky was clear like only a desert sky can be, and the sun came down strong. The snakeweed was blooming and stray yuccas stuck up in a code that only the ravens can read.

We passed a herd of straggling sheep, and I thought to myself: give me a crooked staff and a piece of this land and I would squint my eyes against the sun for the rest of a contented life.

We passed through close canyons, where stubborn junipers grow in impossible places, their valiant green burning against the redrock walls, and I closed my eyes and thought to myself: give me but this moment. My cup has been running for so long the world is drowned in beauty; give me but this moment and I would drown myself as well. Give me but this moment and I would close my eyes in contentment forever.

But the moment passed and the world did not take me. Now at home and the grey sky whispers of rain. I am bundled in sweet melancholy and llama slippers, full of the slowfading reverb of joy. Jasmine tea, budding trees, and the wind is picking up: I drown in it. My love is phoenix flame, and I am smoke and ash, dissolving into the sky. Let the rivers swell, let the canyons flood, let the wind carry me to sea, content.

Fifth read, and I still just absolutely love the imagery here. Gorgeous.

I love it too, and your emotional reaction. My Scottish in-laws are on their way from us to Monument Valley next week and I'm going to print this for them to read.

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