The grandmother holds her newest grandson in her arms. Five months old and gurgling milky smiles at her as she bottle feeds and rocks him in the morning Joshua Tree Oasis sunshine. Her ten-year-old grandson is already intent on working a puzzle that spreads across the master bed, while he and his other grandma laugh in excitement with each new piece found and placed perfectly into the growing cardboard picture.


IMG_9570And as the grandmother holds the baby she looks around at the others—sons and grandparents and husbands and wives and daughters-in-law. How different and yet so perfectly each fit into this family gathering together. Just the right meeting place to introduce the newest family addition to this sacred desert vacation hideaway. Would he ever remember the sensations of comfort and coziness? The generous rough-hewn table where all sit in shifts sharing delicious home-cooked meals. The fat Chuckwalla staring lazily at them from a rocky landing just outside the window. The busy hawk straddling a cactus in the distance while eviscerating a wayward lizard. The fresh Mojave scents of newly bursting flowers. The chorus of birdsongs and even the sudden sound of distant thunder—a slight cloud burst cleansing the air and sending cool droplets disappearing as fast as they appear. The gently swinging hammocks. The sheen of tile and glisten of windows. Would he remember any of this?


The grandmother sings to the baby as her gaze lands on the distant mountainy landscape beyond the outdoor deck and bubbling Jacuzzi. The mountain seems to gaze back—a reflection of another world of pieces placed together just so. Large boulders and jagged rocks and smooth pebbles hundreds or were there thousands of them fitting together perfectly as if placed by a giant puzzle-maker to create such a complete masterpiece of art. Pieces of a puzzle. None the same. All different from different ages and stages of life and yet they melded together in that harmonious mountainous desert tableau.

IMG_9553The baby sighs in contentment in her arms and she sighs back. Pieces of life lived and loved ever so briefly at Josh. They would all revisit this magical escape together again someday soon and in time she knew, he would remember. After all, how could he ever forget?

-Cara Wilson-Granat