Today I am hurting.
Buttered bread and water are my silent company.
It was worth it.
My coworkers and I–a group we’ve begun calling ‘our framily’ for we are all orphaned here alone together–went on a boozy night hike on some of our preserve land under the gilding glow of a full moon. Temperatures were still in the high 90’s after a day of record breaking heat (take that, 131-year-old record!) but the breeze was steady and strong in the boulder-strewn foothills outside JTNP. The moon emerged from a band of high cirrocumulus clouds as we reached the trailhead and cast everything in silver. Joshua trees and creosote bushes threw eerie shadows as their limbs whipped in the gusts. Scout trotted ahead in the lead at an alert crouch, her blinking pink collar interrupting the otherwise bluegraywhite landscape. In our hands, cold cans condensated. Conversation flowed easily in the group, as it does between those of similar minds and educations, carried by the wind between individuals then lost in the chaparral. We reached the top of a rise and were able to look out over the Joshuas into the Morongo Basin below. Across the valley, a summer storm performed above the opposite mountains. Golden lightning bolts snaked to the ground and flashed between higher altitude clouds. The storm was fast moving; it scuttled away on its electric legs as we continued onward. Even as it left the area, golden flashes continued to interrupt our silver-gilded evening for nearly another hour. Drinks were finished, crushed cans were exchanged for fresh counterparts in packs, and fresh stories and perspectives were shared as we continued winding our way through the blue Mojave night. We lost and found trails, toiled in the deep sands of washes, got generally yanked around by Scout, and had a wonderful, tipsy time. She and I got home just before 2 in the morning, the moon now lost in an overcast sky. It was a perfect evening, as far as desert evenings go.
Today though, I am hurting.
It was worth it.