The thought of life passing by too quickly leaves me feeling uneasy. I’m always trying to slow down and listen to others more genuinely or enjoy more thoroughly. However, being pregnant can force your mind to think about milestones whether you’re trying to or not. Let me start by saying, that all pregnancies are unique and every woman has to find what works for her and her body. For me, I’ve found that pushing myself physically has helped me live each step of pregnancy rather than living inside a number (16 weeks, 6 months, third trimester…). What I mean is, by safely pushing myself to new physical limits whether its not passing up a 5 am workout, or trying something that’s outside my athletic comfort zone or by simply telling myself one…more…minute, has helped me connect with myself physically in the here and now as I slip further and further away from my former physical self. Pregnancy has taught me that there’s no stopping time, no matter how uneasy that may make me feel. But focusing on the “cans” instead of the “can’ts” has me focused on something other than the numbers and that’s something I like. Things may not go back to the way they were but what’s ahead is a new limit for me to push.
On my recent trip to Joshua Tree, I was on my usual hunt for an amazing sunset. This time was fun because my sister was with us and she got to see the behind-the-scenes madness, that is capturing a sunset out in the middle of the wilderness of a national park. We arrived about 90 minutes before sunset to a completely overcast sky but determined, nonetheless, to find the spot where I shot an awesome sunset almost exactly a year ago. Although there are many faces to the landscape of Joshua Tree National Park, it can also feel confusing and repetitious when you’re out there in the fading light. A few times we thought we were on the right path only to realize there was another mountain or hill blocking the horizon so we’d turn around, sprint back to the main road, laughing and screaming out into the expanse. With about 20 minutes to spare, it became evident the skies were going to open to an incredible sunset and that we were in the general area I wanted to be in. It was then a mad dash up a sandy hill dodging rocks and spiky bushes. All in all, our step-tracking apps logged each of us in around 2 miles and 10 floors in less than an hour (and six months pregnant for me!). The steps and sweat were more than worth it when the skies displayed three breathtaking phases to that evening’s sunset. I surely didn’t go into this trip thinking I’d be participating in a cardio and booty blast but I take pride in my determination to not put limits on what I allow to be possible for myself. Hey, I never knew I could make a human, so as I see it, the possibilities for myself are as limitless as the desert is endless.
Palm Springs, California is a city where beautiful xeriscapes existed long before it was trendy or environmentally necessary. Driving down any street in Palm Springs is a succulent lover’s dream, as most shopping centers and street corners are landscaped with drought tolerant plants. If window-gazing front yards isn’t enough for you, there’s the Palm Springs Historical Landmark, Moorten Botanical Garden.
Established in 1938 by desert plant specialists Chester and Patricia Moorten. The grounds are still family owned and operated by their son Clark Moorten. Each time I’m at Moorten’s I love to take the opportunity to chat with Clark and listen to his stories about Palm Springs in the 1960’s or the interesting array of critters he’s come across on the property. Moorten’s houses over 3000 varieties of plants and a most impressive Cactarium, a greenhouse which is home to many rare plant species. For a very small admission fee you can walk the grounds and enjoy the scenery. I don’t typically go here to buy succulents but they do have a small selection for sale.(below: I purchased from Moorten’s in May 2015). They also have an eclectic selection of pottery and garden decor. Every time I visit I always pick up one of their two-toned pots for future projects. You may have seen some of their pottery selection on my Instagram. I’ve been to Moorten’s during winter and summer and I’ll say a trip during summer isn’t for those shy about sweating! I would definitely recommend visiting in either winter or spring. Hours of operation are limited in the summer so be sure to call ahead or check their website before planning your trip.
After my dad passed away without warning, I repeatedly thought about our unfinished business with each other. Those thoughts evolved into wondering what memories about myself and my life went with him the day he died. What had he seen or known about me that he hadn’t gotten around to telling me or that I hadn’t thought to ask? Afterall, how do you know what to ask when you don’t know what you don’t know about yourself? I suppose I expected that over the course of my life I would discover and learn everything I needed to know in due time, but sometimes life makes you grow even under a cloudy sky. Once my grief eventually subsided my thoughts took a different course. Who is expecting to learn something from me? What is it and would they be listening when I was ready to teach them?
I have one sibling, my sister, who is eight years my junior. Our age difference gives our relationship a special complexity in which I am a friend, her family, a mentor. Naturally, I am in the position to be an example and a role model and I take that position with great pride. In this day and age where we spend so much time being “social” it can be difficult to really connect when we already think we’re totally connected. Recently, my sister went with me on a trip to Palm Springs where we visited Moorten’s Botanical Garden and Cactarium. We spent the morning walking around the grounds in the sweltering August heat, she was a great sport. As we were walking, to my immense delight, she pointed out and named plants or directed my attention to something I missed that she knew I would want to see. It was amazing to see that in her own way she was interested in something I love so much. I managed to take this child, raised in the digital age, and have her love something in a way that only one with an old soul could. My work here is done!
That day at Moorten’s, as I reflect back on it now, is a reminder that knowledge is an evolution in which your original sources fade into you becoming the source and those you teach become your teachers too. The unfinished business I once thought I had with my dad has become my current business with my sister. I’ve found that it’s not about talking about yourself or even sharing family memories it’s about getting out and doing. It takes effort to pass on your passion but when you do it’s wonderful to see what someone else can make of something you love. I can’t exactly put my finger on a single passion that my dad directly passed to me but I know I feel his spirit when I work with my hands. That’s why I love to share the things I create with everyone who reads this blog. A full circle connection that brings me joy. But you just can’t underestimate unplugging from the computer or the phone and teaching those around you, in person. It was the original way to be social, before the media. And that day that I got out with my sister confirmed the direction of my path that she knows the garden and the girl behind it too.