As natives to Arizona, we know what the desert is, but as I looked at the desert as this
analogical picture of our marriage, it fit perfectly.
The desert is this ecosystem that thrives because of its' unique way of survival. Desert plants knows how to hold out in times of drought, storing water deep in their roots. And cacti in their infancy only survive because of the shelter provided by bigger, 'nursing' plants.
Native Americans who knew how to survive off the land knew to ask the rain man to summon water. In the same way, we have learned to lean on the prayers, wisdom, and counsel of our community, and to ask for ourselves the rain from He who provides.
And finally, we have come to appreciate the path we are on. Though it is rugged terrain at times, the desert has its' own kind of pretty.
It’s a full fledged run through a rocky, desert terrain wearing nothing but those goofy looking toe shoes. Sometimes, you’re on this mountaintop peak, stepping up to the ridge and peering over into the cactus ridden, dirt clump of land from where you just came, feet bloodied and body dripping sweat, realizing now that you’re resting away from it, that it’s got its own kind of pretty.
In a desert marriage, you go to the rain man, you ask him how to quench the dry and dusty parts of yourself that can’t go on. You take counsel, even when it feels like prickly pear in the side. The two of you go out, hands clasped tight, and breathe in the communion of the desert night sky. Feeling braver than before, you dance and cry out for rain.
Rain pours out over your palms and drips down your back, following the same curves of your spine that the sweat did, replacing it. Washing over your mouth and purifying it, for all the words that came out that should’ve stuck in your throat.
And when the rain ends, you have the strength to walk the desert again. you’ll store that rain a long time. The venom of a rattler, the sting of a scorpion, the dehydration of the sun, these are things you are learning to ward off.
A desert marriage. It is like the saguaro cactus, growing slowly, extra prickly at first. Living under the cool shade of a nursing tree, community. After ten years, it is only one inch tall. But give it time and watch it sprout up, arms one day will be stretched wide to shelter others. As if to say, I was weak and in need of shelter once too, come, rest.
200 years go by, and when it falls, only the ribs are left after the decay. The ribs, a reminder of how the woman came from the man, and how the man lived with one less rib because of it.
In a desert marriage, you see the sun setting in all its brilliancy, strung across the sun in large stokes by the great painter.
You worship him, knowing that he gave you the rain and the sunset to nurture you, and the desert terrain and thirst to teach you.
You thank him, for you’d never appreciate the rain and the sunset as much if you lived somewhere easier.
For you are desert dwellers through and through.
|Kaylee Chelsea Photography|