Before Saturday, the only Joshua Tree I had seen was on the cover of a U2 album. At the time I was more interested in the music than the photograph, and paid it very little mind. As we drove across the desert on Saturday, I cared nothing for the music, and I fell in love with that gnarled, twisted existence that dotted the landscape outside my window.
What was it about the tree that I found so lovely? Surely, by classic aesthetics, it wasn’t beautiful. There was just a little green, simply a few tufts atop a very rugged trunk. Yet each tree was different, more like people than other trees. Regardless of the metophor to humanity, I think I fell in love with them before they remind me of the Yukon. I seem always to be drawn to the quiet stength of something that insists on living in an unyielding environment. It is the ultimate example of “bloom where you are planted” and it’s something with which I struggle on a personal level.