Tree Portrait in the Cienega

Tree Portrait

Tree Portrait © 2012 Bo Mackison

There are years that ask questions and years that answer. ~ Zona Neale Hurston


Answer Year 

Cottonwood, the ancient one rooted in moist earth, branching wide and full.

Bird chatter, hawk swoop,
I startle the blue heron balanced in the wet cottonwood debris, she spreads her wings and takes flight into the lush riparian cover.

Breezes dance in the grasses, grasses dance in the cienega,
The bubbling spring seeps through the earth, greening the choreographed line of cottonwoods.

I ask questions, seek answers, lean my back against the sycamore, off trail.

Baboquivari watches in the distance. The clouds move through.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC, living and photographing in southern Arizona. There are days Bo wanders the roads, and there are days she stops, leans against trees, and watches the world.

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. The area looks fascinating.

  2. Joanne Keevers says:

    I wonder if the questions began during your trip to Arizona last year, which are now being answered on your return trip?

  3. This quote by Hurston really hits home. I’ve been living the question years and am anxious to move to the answer years – hence this beach journey. Great post.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Yes, it seems I have more question years than answer years, but I am finding more answers, the more I search. Your beach journey sounds like excellent work for question answering.

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