It's the spring time when I miss it most. There are a few mountain laurel trees around here, planted as decorative shrubs, and they're in full bloom right now. I can't begin to describe what these bunches of blossoms smell like. It's a grapey, winey, heady sort of smell. To me it's the closest thing I can think of to nectar and ambrosia. But you can never enjoy them on a manicured green lawn the way you can when they leap up out of the cactus and brush on a rocky hillside. Something so soft and polished and sweet in a land where almost every native thing scratches, pricks, bites, or stings.
I remember an evening years ago in the early spring. The sun had set and the sky was a soft lavender. The entire orb of the moon was visible, but only the narrowest crescent glowed, along with one faintest star. A warm wind floated off the hillside to the north, and carried with it this heavenly smell, a smell of springtime and warmth and beauty, that seemed to pour from the sky itself. The fireflies came out in the trees as the stars came out in the darkening sky. Somehow those hours have lasted years for me.
Now that Mom has sold that house, and lives in suburbian Schertz, Texas, I feel like I don't have a home to go back to. Only a house. Things change.
An east wind blows my mind into the wild.
I long for gleams of ever-setting suns
To light the deserts, hills, and mountain tops
And burn the canyon lips like brandy-wine.
My soul would fly on fire o'er golden lands,
Rocks never by the ocean's wash subdued
But stretching ever on and on
Beneath the rays of setting sun.