Passport, wallet, even my shoes were safely stored in the back of the jeep whose tailgate receded down the sand dunes and was buried from sight. We were alone in the desert. A man whose last name we didn’t know, whom we had met last night, pointed out a narrowing canyon and said, “Walk that way. I’ll meet you on the other side.”
We took refuge in the cool shadows of the red rock, followed it down the ancient and fading memory of a waterfall, stepped with rubbling boulders, to fresh sand, undisturbed. Birdsong, spare and echoing, lit our way past the trees, green and astonishing, growing in the heart of the desert.