• Maria Sestito

A place to heal

In my dream of life I imagined a second-story window with a view of some expanse of land or ocean. My desk would be there. It would be where I would get lost in thought, in feeling, in all the words that want to flow out of me but sometimes can’t. It is in this expanse that I take comfort in, that I have worked toward and achieved.

The living room in my apartment has large sliding glass doors. I’ve recently placed a small table in front of them — my new favorite spot. The view is something to get caught up in no matter what time of day it is. In the morning, beams of light pour in through the mountains and palm trees in the distance. Rabbits and pheasant families frolic in the open land below and hummingbirds flit beneath the building’s overhang. In the evening, the sky is pink and blue.

I’m settling in here amongst the little birds. I have made my nest in the desert oasis that is California’s Coachella Valley.

Just six months ago, I scoffed at the idea of life in the desert. I wanted to be on the coast, by the ocean, perhaps head eastward back toward my family. Who knew then that this would be the best place for me now?

The universe was taking care of me when that call was made. I took care of myself by being open to it, accepting it, embracing it.

The quiet hum of cicadas, first mistaken for overworked air conditioners, lull me and my purring feline to sleep every night. Bursts of sunshine wake us up everyday. It is in these quiet moments, taking in the light, staring at the mountains, swimming in the empty pool, listening to nature, that I think of my brother.

He worked so hard to become a better person. He worked so hard to escape. I’ve worked hard too. Though we took different paths, I like to think he is here with me now in the desert, healing too.

Written Aug. 24, 2020. Published Jan. 10, 2021 ... because I wasn't ready yet.

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