As Sunday comes to a close, I am reminded of the upcoming week as I look at the bed in my studio and it's covered in fabrics. I have a new quilt top to begin using the beautiful fabrics of the southwest theme and it makes me think of my amazing parents. They loved the desert. To them, it was home. When everyone saw dirt and dust and those awful cactus; where everything living there bites you in one way or the other, they say beauty. The birds that could build a nest in the needles of a cactus, or the roadrunner that ate from my fathers hand. They loved the red cardinals that would seek water and food in their little oasis in the desert and laugh when the partridges would try and cross the road in front of their small trailer. My dad planted a small patch of grass just so he could water and watch the jack rabbits come out and play.
They themselves had very little, a small fifth wheel trailer and an old truck to pull it. Over the years they had collected more things than they would ever need but it made them so happy. My mother had a collection of cookie jars in the yard and bird feeders everywhere. They made her smile and she could find them at garage sales.. She called them her yard family. My father collected from the desert he loved to walk in. A piece of sorrel cactus wood from a fallen giant,that he would bring home and lovingly carve into a walking cane. Then he would sell it at the local open air market full of tourist just passing through and wondering why people lived there and it made him smile. He had a collection of arrowheads and broken bones of animals he'd found as well always talking about what he could make with them but never did.
They loved to watch the thunder and lightening storms that would roll across the sky with a flurry and drench the desert floor, often cause flash flooding. But, just days after, the entire desert would come to life with blooms on all the cactus and they were beautiful. At night they would sit out under the stars with no lights on and listen to the howls of the coyote or the screech of the owls and they came to understand the spirit of the desert they loved.
When they passed, I vowed I would scatter their ashes out into the desert they both loved with all their hearts. I mixed their ashes together for the journey to the desert as they had lived as one for so many years loving and caring for each other it seemed only right. I still remember the night we walked out into the desert near their special spot. The wind was blowing warm air all around and the stars were bright in the night sky. I laid a pair of their shoes and two old hats they had often worn together with a bottle of their favorite wine, Strawberry Hill. I put a handful of butterscotch candies in my Dad's shoes for he was never without them and released their ashes to the night. The winds swirled all around us lifting their ashes higher and higher up the small hill as the moon light reflected down upon us we watched the ashes floated ever upward and on into the desert and they became one with it. I love and miss you both always but I know that where ever your spirits are now, you are finding the magic that dwells there.