Desert Trees

Mixed media painting of desert trees by Kellie Day

Desert Trees, mixed media, 18" x 36"

Camping at Hittle Bottom, across from the Fisher Towers near Moab, UT this fall with my family, there were two trees wrapped around each other.  In the distance, desert towers I had once climbed called my attention from every view. The campsite was flat, and a peacock lived in the bushes. The Colorado River, muddy and slow, lumbered by. Beautiful shady cottonwoods and pure blue sky made it a restful place. And we spent our days hiking, playing in the water, painting, and running to town for ice coffees when it got hot in the afternoon.

The hike to the Fisher Towers was winding and glorious. Rock blumps and lumps and a little hidden valley. We wandered through, exploring. Through the eyes of my four year old it didn’t matter that I get my mileage in, or that I made it to climb a tower today. (Although I longed for it soon). Instead, every little turn of the trail was another discovery: lizards, twisted junipers that looked like dragons, shades of green grasses, rocks, a sandy wash.

Then in the evenings, we sat below these sibling trees, or maybe they were lovers, and ate s’mores at the fire, and tried to keep the dog from chasing the peacock up the tree.

And in the morning, the trees in the light. So still, as if there wasn’t a buzz of people about them.  Firmly rooted into the flat, stamped red dirt. Keeping an eye on those desert towers, shading our camp. I was so grateful.

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