On our drive to Las Vegas, a mini trip we later declared will not visit for a while due to a combination of reasons; I made sure I brought along my college-ruled notepad and blue pen. Of course I brought my camera for I am never without it, and took pictures of the landscape from all around me from the confines of the passenger seat.

On Highway 5, we passed mostly orchard farms, grazing cows and sheep’s, mountains and clouds on a blue sky. Cars zipped on by, passing slow drivers to regain the road.

One trait my family and I share is that as much as we love engaging each other in conversations, we also enjoy quietness. My Morgan in the backseat with a book in hand, but I don’t think she is really there. She is somewhere with Jack and Annie (Magic Tree House book #35 by Mary Pope Osborne) on a magical journey to the 1889 Paris World Fair. Dick is solemn, concentrating on the road and me with a mind-filled curiosity.

Driving along Bakersfield and Tehachapi, on either side of the road we are embraced by rolling hills. Even in this part of California where rain is scarce and the sun unmerciful, life continues to grow.  Verdant vegetation’s prosper on the hillsides and mountaintops. The grounds probably make sizzling sounds when rain makes contact with the earth.  

After the town of Tehachapi and as our drive approached another town, mountaintops in the distance are dotted with windmills. As it was a windy day, the turbines were in perfect synchronization of each other. They looked like white birds with long flapping wings suspended on air. Further into our drive, quiescence settled comfortably. Our thoughts silently ran amok on the Mojave Desert. A change in scenery disclosed itself to us.  The parched, dry earth is a sea of light brown and Joshua Trees are everywhere. Mountains rises in the far distance projecting purplish hues, sometimes almost black when blanketed by clouds from above. It is utter desolation but I know life thrives here.  I often think how some animals can call this place home. But they do and they survive.

Our drive back was similar. The clouds covered the sky in layers of white fluff. There are clouds rising from beyond the mountains looking like smoke plumes, while some looked like the scribbling of 3-year olds. Passing a town called Primm, a crowding of mountains surrounds us from all sides.

For some, this drive is not only long, but bleak. I heard this comment said before: “but there’s nothing to see here”. If you open your eyes and see with your heart, your capacity to appreciate nature is a life changing experience.