The Creosote Bush

Updated: Aug 31, 2019

A bit of heaven

When I was growing up, I spent many summers with my grandparents in Desert Hot Springs, 20 miles north of Palm Springs, California. Their house was near the end of a dirt road and surrounded by miles of flat desert. My favorite memory of those summers is going out after a flash rainstorm and smelling the creosote - a spindly bush that grew in the area. I rubbed my hands against the leaves and then brought my hands to my face, taking a deep sniff of the slightly metallic odor.

In April I was hiking in Big Bend National Park after a morning rain and caught the scent of creosote. Instantly, I was eight years old again and standing on the porch of my grandparents' flat brick house. The scent was love and happiness, tinged with melancholy.

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