Posted in Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, Blogging From A-Z 2015, Challenges and Contests, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Writing in Freedom

Joshua Trees: #atozchallenge, Day 11

Do you know that album by U2, from long ago?

I might be dating myself to say that The Joshua Tree was the one I’ll always associate most with the Irish group, even though I only owned it on non-easily portable vinyl back in the day. I had Achtung Baby on tape, or maybe CD, or possibly both. At any rate, although Achtung went in the car with me, in my twenties, before I was married and had children, when I was almost always alone when I drove, and I could belt them out full-throated and full-lunged, windows down and other drivers looking at me a little strangely – it’s the clear tones, the poetry, The Edge’s guitar with its unmistakable sound, that I remember most.

That, and that stark black and white image in the album cover…the band, with the tree.

The desert tree that didn’t look truly real to me, the same way the sun’s appearance at the poles, or the reversal of seasons on the other side of the equator, didn’t seem truly real, even though I knew that they were.

I decided I needed to someday see a Joshua tree for myself, to find out if they truly existed.

Years later, when my Accomplice and I finished his twelfth, and my only, season at the Grand Canyon, we decided to take the scenic route to visit with his family in Oregon, and we added Joshua Tree National Park to our itinerary.

I finally got to see Joshua trees close up. Many of them. I got to touch them -albeit carefully. I got to see them live, in their native environment, the Mojave Desert.

Elmer Tree. Photo by NPS/Robb Wannamaker, courtesy of Joshua Tree National Park, via Flickr. Creative Commons license.

We saw much more – ocatillos and a military exhibit, spectacular rock formations, the visitor center and a skyful of stars as we slept outside, on the ground, sans tent, but close to one another.

Sometimes music gives us more than what exists in the moment we listen to it…sometimes, it can transport us not just emotionally, or through imagery, but can actually provide the impetus that moves us physically through time and space.

It’s not the first time that’s happened to me. From the time I was four, until well into my teens, my favorite song was “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver. I memorized it, and sang it, sitting on the floor with my ear pressed up to one of the speakers of my folks’ console stereo/bar. I don’t think it’s purely coincidental that I took a job in the western mountains when I was 27, or that it changed my life to do so – you might say I was born again, out there, and, although I came home, it was as a different, more elemental and seasoned version of the person I’d been.

This post is part of the #atozchallenge. For other jubilant and jaunty “J” posts, just click the banner below!

Do you have music that acted as a catalyst on your life – that led you to places or experiences you might not have otherwise? Feel free to share your stories and links, so we can all listen! =D And, to keep things fair, here’s mine!



I am myself. I own my life, and live with three other people who own theirs. My intention is to do only those things that bring me joy, and to give myself wholly to those things I do. Writing has been my passion throughout my life, and this will become the home for my writing life...because it brings me great joy!

10 thoughts on “Joshua Trees: #atozchallenge, Day 11

  1. I don’t know if music pushed me into something that I wouldn’t have found. I find I spend quite a bit of time in silence. But the desert can be beautiful.

    1. Silence can be its own music, can’t it? And I have a deep affinity for the desert. I started longing to see it when I was 8, and it was love at first sight!

      Sorry it took me so long to get back to you – the words swallowed me!

    1. I love me some John Denver, now, too! It doesn’t hurt that my 13 year old son has discovered that he loves that music, as well…

      Music and driving – for me, it’s the encapsulation, I think, and the motion. You’re there in the car – you can’t be pulled away by nearly as many of the details and minutia of life…and there’s the rolling wheels, and wind if the windows are open, and the scenery flashing by…

      I love to sing in the car. =)

  2. My brother was a big U2 fan.
    Mine would have to be The Cranberries or Bjork. One made me want to visit Ireland and I did. The other makes me want to visit Iceland. Hopefully I will get there.
    Excellent J post.

    1. I was named after a river in Ireland, so I feel a connection. I also love the Cranberries, Enya, and Irish folk music.

      I’d love to go to Ireland, and that you get to Iceland.

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