Joshua Tree was amazing!
The next morning after waking up at the Air B&B I drove down to the park. Even just driving through the park was an amazing experience. The trees look like they are straight out of a Dr. Seuss children’s book and the boulders look like they were carefully placed on top of each other like art sculptures.
The landscape is just so different from anywhere I have ever been. Despite the lack of color, the arrangement of the trees, cacti and boulders makes you feel like you’ve landed in the midst of a giant art project.
I decided to do the hike to Ryan’s Peak, the tallest peak, and was able to get a 360 of the park. This was yet another incredibly steep hike and the heat was excruciating. It was already 110 degrees by 10am. Despite the heat and the strenuous hike, the view at the top of the peak was one I will never forget. Just as the desert genius, Edward Abbey, says, “May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.”
By the time I got to the top I was exhausted but just as I reached the sign showing the elevation, I noticed a beautiful monarch butterfly. Butterflies have been a comfort throughout these past months as a sign that Kelly is with me. We used to flicker our eyelashes on each other’s cheeks also known as “butterfly kisses.” So every time I see a butterfly, I feel his closeness and think of it as a kiss on my cheek. Sometimes these small comforts bring me the most peace.
The remainder of the day was spent driving to Los Angeles, but I couldn’t help but feel a sense of bliss. Even in the times I feel the most tired, or sad, or angry, I feel as though there is a sign that Kelly is with me. Whether it’s the simple sight of a beautiful purple flower, or the presence of a butterfly, these subtleties give me comfort that I experienced a love so strong that I am able to find even more beauty in life simply because it existed.