Spring arrives seven days from today and the desert is preparing. Diablitos, as my father called them, are swirling their energy of wind containing cigarette butts, discarded winter woes, and desert dust. Occasionally a tumbleweed will hitch a ride. We are waiting for rain. We are waiting for renewal.
My family has gifted two elders to the stars this year. What this means is a loss of physical presence and a loss of a name. It also means a closure on a history that isn’t available in government documents or historical books without digging for lifetimes. Much of my own indigenous cultural heritage has been erased through years of colonization and an effort for my family to stay safe, to stay alive. But what is life without an identity, without blooming? The mesquite leaves are waiting to birth, waiting for a spring baptism. I am learning that there is a moment to heal.
I am changing since I moved here a year and a half ago. I am forming a new identity, inherited, but foreign. The desert trail is a layer of silken dust and the tracks do not change except to soften around the edges. I wonder as I walk it. Will we see rain soon and can I sell this dust for a skin cure clay mask? The snakes are awakening, and the night-before-dawn cries of the coyotes are crisper with a clarity worthy of a record. I am strengthened by the desire and anticipation of the destined journey. I have an opportunity to take matters into my own hands. I can be that swirling energy, a prayer of wind. I can dance with her and not internalize the past pain but journey into the future of healing and the ceremony of spring.