I loved the Museum of the Desert,with its miniature trains, humming birds and butterflies, foxes, cheetahs, eagles. Ann and I took a hike into the pale dry hills up to the San Andreas fault, locus of so many earth quakes, so much damage, but beautifully calm today. It is still winter in the desert, with just the barest burst of spring, a leaf here, a yellow bud there. We did not see the chuckwalla, a fat little lizard who expands his chunky body to fit into whatever crevice someone is trying to pry him out of. I wanted to see a chuckwalla. Maybe next time. We did see a long blue black lizard with more tail than body and a bunch of short striped lizards, active across the rock. I learned that the small dunes which form at the sides of larger living dunes are called shadows. Maybe there's a poem in there - shadow dunes. And then there is desert varnish, the special glow which forms on rocks at the scars where the forces of nature crack them open. And we saw the road runner, fast across the sand.
I woke up happy, physiologically happy, just free and good and bouncing on the balls of my feet the day we explored the museum of the desert. It felt so good, that rare happy feeling that isn't attitude or choice, but just comes and fills body and soul with a state of well being. it would be great to feel that more often, but I don't think it's something I can control. like the blues, it comes when it comes. It's the attitudes, the self talk, the beliefs, the choices I can control and that's enough, though it is great when the spontaneous happiness comes.