The pulse of the city was pounding in her veins. She didn’t know where she began and it left off. The waves of drama hit her daily and she knew one thing only. She was drowning. She needed to get as far away from this madding crowd as possible. And especially from him—the man she loved too much. It was hopeless. He would always be there and she would always be on the other side of here.

Theirs was the whole star-crossed-lover thing and she had to go. A friend of a friend alerted her to an oasis far away in the desert somewhere. It was supposed to be one of the most hidden, extraordinary vacation retreats in the world called, Joshua Tree Oasis. Packing her bags, she decided at the last minute to bring her lap top and finally begin writing the novel that was playing itself in her head. Maybe that was how she could rid herself of him and the city—all of it. Call it mental Metamucil. She needed a cleansing and fast.

Renting a car straight from the Palm Springs airport, she wondered how she had gotten to this strange place. Bumping up the dusty road passed tucked away fences and signs and secretive indications of civilization she began to have second thoughts. Maybe she had been too impulsive in her dash to nowhere. And then she saw the large gate with the buffalo’s skull and horns and words atop it, Joshua Tree Oasis. She had arrived. But where? Soon she was there in a haven as beautiful and alluring as a small Taj Mahal—not the size, but the essence. This was like something created by someone in love. The soft hues and warm tiles, rustic mixed with Southwest, embracing, safe, sensual. She lit a fire and poured herself a cognac and stood on the deck taking it all in. A kestrel circled high above surfing the brief, warm currents. A jack rabbit bound across the desert scrub, springing in and out of the meadows of mesquite and sagebrush. Far in the distance she could decipher a lone coyote loping along the huge granite outcroppings. She could be on Mars this was all so remote from the world she temporarily left behind. The smell of sage and symphony of silence embraced her senses. She looked at her lap top and turned away. The novel would wait. Joshua Tree Oasis had begun to take hold. Easing into the welcoming outdoor Jacuzzi, the soothing bubbling water began lulling her into a rare state of vulnerability. She felt each muscle let go as she watched the nature show surrounding her. The sun-setting sky began streaking a kaleidoscope of brilliant colors she never even knew existed as she caught sight of the spiky Joshua trees, yucca plants and brazen cacti puncturing the descending dusk. The ache she felt for him overcame her at last. Why aren’t you here?

Continued in Part 2…

Cara Wilson-Granat