In the Abstract

Abstract Torch Flower

In the Abstract © 2012 Bo Mackison

One looks, looks long, and the world comes in. ~ Joseph Campbell

The sharp edges of the desert are softening. The sunrise I watched every morning is hidden behind the gray clouds of a Midwestern spring rain and I hold the sunrise in my memory. The cactus flowers that I spoke to every day, gently touched and examined as if I were examining the delicacy and newness and the miracle of my first born child, those flowers are by now wilting and other buds are opening.

I miss my daily exercise on the desert paths, I miss watching the prickly pear cactus in the back arroyo and guessing which buds would next open. I miss the bright sunshine, the heat of the light on my back and arms. I miss the ritual of preparation I had grown to enjoy, the ritual of applying the sun screen and hat and coverings, of gathering enough water and the right maps and my hiking stick and pack.

I miss the constant chatter and song of the many birds, the questioning of the owls, the late night and early morning cries of the coyote. I miss the road runners strutting past my glass doors, the quails playing hide and seek under the cactus, and especially the bobcat that would stop at the stoop of my porch, stare through my door, and then casually move on into the arroyo.

But none of this is gone. I close my eyes, and I remember. I shake awake my senses, recall the scent of the desert after a brief rainfall, the whirr of the hummingbirds as they sip nectar from the feeder, and the bzzz of the carpenter bee’s dip and dance, the almost constant questioning and answering of the pair of doves.

I can look into the bright colors of this photograph, the abstract lines and shapes, and it is almost as if I am looking into a crystal ball as I recall the past few months of desert days and nights.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is on the road today, on her way back to her other home.

About Bo Mackison

I’m a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place – a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I’d love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It’s my gift to you.


  1. Lovely memories…

  2. I enjoyed the post, sounds like you’re heading back to the midwest to capture different species of flora and fauna. I’ve enjoyed your desert ventures, and I’m looking forward to your midwestern sojurns this summer and fall.

  3. Bo Mackison says:

    I’m sure I will have plenty of Midwest photos to share, Gandalf.

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