Solo in the Desert

Spiny Saguaro

Spiny Saguaro ยฉ 2011 Bo Mackison

It seems I wasn’t paying close enough attention, and I’ve plunged into a sticky situation. Figuratively. It’s not that I’ve literally run into the sharp spines on this giant cactus. No, but today has been more of a challenge than I had hoped to deal with. I had family visitors for a few days, and I enjoyed showing them the local sights. Now they are back to the Midwest and I’m on my own again. So today I struggled with the “living solo” part of my Arizona plan.

I also learned a valuable lesson. When I was first on my own, in early February, I kept to a routine. I visited new places, went on lots of hikes, took photographs and processed them, and spent time reading, journaling, and exercising. It worked well for me, but I’m having difficulty getting back to my routine.

I know all the proper things to do when unexpected “blues” show up. Deep breathing, relaxation exercises, lots of distractions – reading, writing, listening to music. But I’m still struggling.

What I would really like is a big dose of chocolate, but unfortunately there isn’t any in the casita. Maybe tonight is a good night to get some extra sleep. The sun will be up bright and early tomorrow – and I’ll be up early, too. Ready to say hello to a new day.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is living in Tucson for two months, exhibiting her photography in art shows, taking photographs, and blogging about photography, art fairs, and living life โ€œsolo.โ€

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. Interesting reflections, Bo. That is a very healthy looking Saguaro! I sure do miss them!

  2. Joanna Paterson says:

    Keep listening to what those cactus plants are telling you too x

  3. It’s the ups and downs that make life interesting. Lucky for you – you are present enough to notice. And – yes – the sun always rises tomorrow! Hope the new day greets you with renewed energy and joy!

  4. Oh..and gorgeous image – by the way!

  5. Hey, I’m with you (at least in my thoughts and wishes). Follow the sun, your camera and your creativity. Love you.

    BTW – the ice shanties are off the lakes. The ice will be out in the next few weeks. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Hi Sweetie. Yep, I’m going out with my camera in a bit. Glad to hear the ice shanties are off the lake!

  6. I think that one should be able to call 911 for chocolate…I’m pretty sure that’s not covered at this point. I hope you have gotten your groove (routine) back. I loved the red sticky photo quite a lot. Beautiful colors. Be well.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Thanks, X. I AM getting back in my groove, just took a bit of mind adjustment therapy, and the promise of a chocolate malt for lunch today!

  7. I hope this note finds you feeling better, and back into your routine. I know from the few times I’ve been on my own that routine can be so important, especially the keeping busy part of it.

    Chocolate, of course, is always a solution. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I love the cactus. Hope you’re back in the routine, and while chocolate is excellent, I’d suggest a lovely chocolate stout. ๐Ÿ™‚

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