Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I am in my beloved Sonoran Desert in the Old Mermaids Sanctuary. At least that's what I call it: the Old Mermaids Sanctuary. It is the place where the Old Mermaids walked up out of the wash and began telling me their tales.

Things are different here this time. They are always different. And they are always the same. My arm hurts for one. It's really from my back. And I am sure it will dissipate, once I relax, once I acclimate, once I get accustomed to this place. In the meantime it makes life interesting, to say the least. And I still don't know what I'll write or where I'll write it or if I'll write. Maybe I will sit near the palm tree and just listen to the sound the dry leaves make when the desert wind shakes them.

The owls are nowhere in sight. This will be the first year we have been without an owl or two. We are hoping they return sometime this month. We have had the company of a hummingbird for the last couple of days. We've also seen a couple of rabbits, and a coyote watched us watching her/him.

The biggest change is one that is pretty difficult to fathom. It changes the whole way this part of the desert feels.

Those of you who have followed my adventures over the years know that when I come here, I wander the wash, just like Myla wandered the wash in Church of the Old Mermaids. I pick up stories in the wash. The wash runs through several properties and the people and other fauna in the neighborhood have always used this wash freely as a thoroughfare.

Until now.

We walked a little ways down the wash and were confronted by a "NO TREPASSING" sign with two strands of barbed wire across the wash. Fortunately our housemates had warned us; otherwise I think I would have dropped down into the sand and sobbed. Or screamed bloody murder.

This part of the desert feels different now, no longer free, no longer safe. (Safe is a relative term, of course. The desert is never "safe," but it felt like the wash was safe from human danger.) Mario and I are still walking the wash, but I put the fath fith on us and hope we will be safe.

I was going to take a photograph of this, but I couldn't raise up the camera to do it. That would make it too real. It is too sad. Maybe later. Instead I took a photograph of our beautiful eating area in our casita. It reminds me of how this problem might be solved: Newcomers to the desert near the Old Mermaids Sanctuary put up a fence. Everyone in the area was very upset. So Sister Ruby Rosarita Mermaid invited the whole neighborhood over, they made soup together, and they let the fence-builders talk about how they felt about the way the world was going. They welcomed the fence-builders and let them know they were all in this together. The newcomers felt as though they were a part of something, and the fence came down. (You can read all about it here.)

It could happen.

More later.

May You Walk in Beauty!


Robert said...

Hi Kim -- from 2 hrs north of you in Tempe!

SO sorry to hear about the fence in the desert. I hope that you find a happy resolution to the situation.

Looking forward to your visit to these parts next year...


Anonymous said...

I live adjacent to a large wooded area that is adjacent to a neighborhood park. For twenty years, I have wandered those woods - feeling "safe enough." In the heart of the woods is an immaculately kept old cemetery. It is on top of a hill and in a peaceful clearing. The names there are of the founding families of this area.

A few years ago, I found some troubling things in the woods - signs of gang initiations - and still I wandered the woods... but more quietly than ever... weighing my chances each time I entered the trees and wandered pathless. Last year, a sign went up - No Trespassing and just below the sign "Visitors to the Cemetery Welcome."

Sister Ruby Rosarita Mermaid must be the inspiration for the second sign!

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