Serendipity - an unplanned, fortunate discovery
While talking over lunch with my friend K.C. recently, I mentioned that I had been invited to take a trip to Joshua Tree, but I didn’t think I was going to make it. K.C.’s eyes lit up as he blurted “I’m down”. I had a few things to consider- I already made plans with my BFF, Maddie, and her roommate, Esther, to take a train down to San Diego to do some exploring. Add to this that I had just rented a car to run errands around LA. I over planned myself and had too many options for how to spend the day. I was torn.
But if you know me, or have read any of my other travel blogs, you'll know that adventure always trumps errands.
I'll kill 2 birds with one stone-screw the errands...Let's all take the rental car to Joshua tree for the day.
So off we went in our little Toyata Prius into the dry heat of Joshua Tree National Park.
Not sure what it is about me and the desert, but per usual, we didn’t do any research before our arrival; we just drove into the park and winged it.
About half way into the park, we pulled over and walked out into the desert. My very first observation was the silence. I can’t remember the last time I heard such a complete and total silence. It was a truly refreshing sensation. It felt like the static in my mind had finally turned off; it was like my mind could breathe. We sat—eyes closed—appreciating the stillness of the desert.
After several minutes, we were off to find our next spot. Every park stop had a unique set of rock formations that were special in their own way. As we climbed up and explored the formations, we felt like we were little kids again, playing on a jungle gym in the playground. We had the idea to take our shoes off and boy, was that the best idea of the day. Feeling the cool rocks on our warm and slightly sweaty feet felt so grounding. (TMI?)
It was thrilling to be out in nature, completely focused on climbing the rocks with caution and skill; a feeling we rarely get to experience in our hectic everyday life and man made world.
I was reminded of my true love for nature and being outdoors. I was reminded that it is where I feel the most alive and human.
We sat on the rocks in silence, and solemnly observed nature’s beauty. The gradient color schemes in the rocks appeared like it was inspiration from an interior design magazine. The patterns, the light, the combination of colors, That’s when I realized that it all comes full circle. As they say, art imitates life and Mother Nature is the greatest of artists. As a society, we are constantly trying to imitate nature, whether we are aware of it or not. It makes sense that natural elements serve as the greatest inspiration for designs in architecture, furniture, and even fashion.
We lost ourselves in the journey. Some climbing and exploring later, the sun was already setting. We ran to the highest point on the rocks and caught the last 10 seconds of the very tip of the sun as it slipped behind the silhouette of the mountains. For the next 20 minutes, we enjoyed the variations of colors of the sunset desert sky.
Maddie and I talked about how thankful we were for the abundance in our lives, and how we are so blessed to be able to feel the thrill of climbing rocks and see the beauty of the sunset with our eyes. After shedding a few tears or joy and gratitude, we headed back down towards the car to begin our journey home.
With the windows down and music blasting, I watched as the night sky turned dark and stars began to shine bright. I thanked the universe for that moment, and carry it with me still.
I encourage all of you to get out and explore this world. Nature has a way of making you feel so small in the very best way. It humbles you, it excites you, it challenges you…it IS you. Get out there.
All photos taken by KC Fritz. Below is developed film shot on a FIJI disposable camera.