An Eerie Breeze Sends Shadows Dancing... | Teen Ink

An Eerie Breeze Sends Shadows Dancing...

December 2, 2007
By Anonymous

An eerie breeze sends shadows dancing: flickering silhouettes of palo verdes and mesquite

trees moving to the rhythm of insects chirping as they settle into the night. Pale light rising up from the

street lamps of suburbia in the distance leaves me untouched by its artificial presence. The only light I see is

that of the moon, or rather the sun reflecting off the moon, unsuccessfully trying to bring its revealing nature

into the night. The moon becomes insignificant as my eyes take in the navy blue sky falsely resembling

black. Not a hint of that sun-bleached, underappreciated, only-the-sky-can-don blue. The vast darkness does

not reminisce of clouds laced with pinks and oranges. Only constellations. Connected dots forming

prophetic stories of the future cling to every second labeled as night -- regretting the colors of the morning


I direct my focus downwards to the earth beneath my feet. Each footstep crackles -- disturbing the

land as I aimlessly wander. Shrubs and cacti -- self sufficient, independent life-- so scared and

overprotective of itself-- interrupt the rocky carpet that blankets the valley, extinct volcanoes quieted by

the years, and dry river beds that make their path through the desert. Each rock is an island among many in

a sea of shades of brown and washed out green with uninviting exteriors. The landscape in its stretch to the

horizon is outcast and swallowed by greedy stucco suburbs fueled by minivans and master-planned


Sounds of nocturnal creatures settling into the darkness echo-- reverberating off mighty saguaros. Countless insects create a symphony in their chirps and twitches accompanied by the snake in its serpentine path to find a meal. Hunting. The coyote. The villain. All with the innocent task of surviving. All observed by me, a sentient human choosing not to wallow in my subconscious, also a nocturnal creature.

Yet, my imagination pervades me, setting reality aside, I see an apparition: a man on a horse whispering Hail Marys that float on the thirsty air and become part of the nothingness, as the body they came from fade slowly away. Mirages seen by dying cowboys of the past glimmer in the night to taunt men who dream of women and clean water. More comforting, and perhaps more real, are my hallucinations than the tangible monotony of brick walls and swimming pools that constitute the suburbs of the Valley of the Sun.

Coming back to reality, I stumble and look downwards to identify the cause. I pick up a leather, sun-cracked canteen full of empty promises. I force an exhale into the canteen’s brim and embrace the sound of unfulfilled history. The high pitch sends a shiver down my spine which reminds me of the brisk air contradicting the typical idea of appropriate desert climate. Just as the spring brings luminescent flowers to cap the Sagurao and contradict its prickly, harmful spine, bone chilling winds exist in this beautiful wasteland.

Realizing that this region, although detached from urban life, is not completely remote-- a dirt road unrolls and undoubtedly leads to an asphalt and cement world where humans have made their oasis and lead their sad lives. A tumbleweed timidly rolls along, perhaps to find adventure down the beaten path. Slow, hopeful, and sad, it continues in the opposite direction of myself. I look again to the sky who unfortunately anticipates the sunshine that will soon illuminate the land that I stumble upon. I become aware of the entire earth down to its scorching core, extending outwards in all directions to caress and tease the horizon that becomes the sky as we perceive it. Awareness of the infinite universe overwhelms me and disparages me and my state of nothingness in the scheme of something divine. The surrounding desert is a meaningless pawn, as I am, and we exist together, insignificantly.

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