We call it the desert, voiceless. We hear the lifeless wind, we see no creatures; but we too are animals. We have an eye only for creatures who resemble us; but there are none.
The call of life in the desert is in living scent. Life here is abundant. All living here have their own calls, whether scent or sound. Some speak in a constant whisper to the wind; some only call when the time has come to bring new life; some only cry out when they are hurt by a predator; they call to each other in warning. Most living here do not seize each other as prey. The Good Lord has given them all they need for life in sun and air and a little water, just enough.
We of all the animals are the most blind in the high desert; the air is lifeless to us. We travel there in emptiness, but in truth no emptiness exist except our own. We are blind. We hear the whisper of the lifeless wind on their branches but do not smell their breath of life given unto the wind.
Perhaps these living creatures offer us just enough scent, not to startle us but to let us feel in the rare and lifting times that we can spy that life abounding in the desert, sometimes in the voice of night, sometimes in winter or rain. We intrude upon this sanctuary even during its private hours, when the living make new life in spring; its scents are made for the insensate ones, the animals, then – the yucca moth and bee. Humans, the blindest of animals, can sense private whispers from all around us when the desert blooms. But never are they meant for us. We should be polite visitors in their land.
Vox clamantis in deserto – parate viam Domini!