Sunday, April 11, 2010


The morning after our snowfall last week there was not a car or road or building in Denver that was not covered in a thick rain-dappled red dust. Although it has dried my windows still bear the marks, as though someone doused us with cocoa powder.

It seems that while we slept the clouds moved in and opened up, spilling a muddy rain down upon the Front Range. After the temperatures dropped the snow began to fall and only after it melted did we see what the rain had delivered all the way from Asia. A windstorm in Mongolia had pulled sand from the Gobi desert high into the atmosphere, carrying it across the Pacific, over the western United States to the Rocky Mountains, were it finally was released.

Duncan and I have walked many miles in the days since, and while we have not left the city I cannot help but marvel that in a strange way our path has taken us across the sands of the Gobi. We have breathed it in and carried it with us up our three flights of stairs, tracking it across the tile in the doorway, all without trying very hard at all. But that sand has traveled high and far to find us and douse us like pixie dust. Whose footsteps were imprinted upon before ours? How long did it blow across Asia before settling here and what has it seen on its strange pilgrimage?

How odd to be reminded once again, in such a bizarre way, that it's not the destination but the journey that matters most.


Scout 'n Freyja said...

Momma says that sand has a mind of it's own and travels on its own and is here on earth to make a mess of her floors! Do you think that's true☺

Cheryl said...

Hmmm... the sands of time.

CJ/Rick said...

How strange. But as always you convey your happenings so beautifully. I love the snow pics.

Anonymous said...

Out here, when the snow and dirt mix and splatter the cars and building with an impromptu layer of adobe, we call it "SNIRT." We all know what it is...It doesn't happen often, but, I've seen it. No Gobi Desert, but probably from Finley North Dakota, 'den.

Eva said...

While you have the sand from Gobi we have the volcanic ash from Iceland. On the one hand they are both annoying in depositing snirt/ash on our cars and windows (and where the volcanic ash is considered, closing down airspace over much of Europe).

But aren't they marvellous in showing us that we truly all live on the same planet; the sands of Gobi or Sahara, the ash from an Icelandic volcano, spreading far and wide.