Being nature lovers, we like to celebrate the equinoxes and solstices, those special moments in the year that mark the rotation of the earth around the sun.
At each of these occasions, we take a hike out to a particular point in the desert to watch the sun set, a place we call “Solstice Point.”
Solstice Point is just desert land not far from one of our main highways, but it contains so much beauty and life that the people driving by never see.
Hiking to our point, we saw some flowers blooming, among them rabbit brush, a few other unidentified yellow flowers, and Indian paintbrush.
We also noticed antelope, coyote, and bobcat tracks, saw a cotton tail rabbit, and spotted some beetles making their ways across the sand.
The desert doesn’t seem like much of a destination for fall color, but we did see some plants that had turned a striking orange.
These bright pops of colors along with the red badlands formations made for a colorful equinox celebration.
Since we go to this location at least four times a year, we get to observe changes in the landscape – hills get washed down by infrequent rains, stones become loose and slide down from precarious perches.
This is a community of minerals, and well adapted animals and plants. For us, we get the opportunity to observe this community and to enjoy the wide vistas it affords.
This equinox, we watched the sun set from Solstice Point, remembered past visits to this location, and enjoyed the changing colors in the sky as the sun sunk behind a silhouette of plateaus.
Having experienced the loss of two loved ones recently, including my much cherished 100-year old grandfather, I was feeling a bit melancholy, my grief just below the surface.
Yet, for me, returning to a familiar natural location brings solace and helps me see death as one of the many great cycles on our planet.