I lie on an outcrop of rock in the bottom of a desert canyon. The surface has been warmed by the intense heat of the previous day, and even this far into the night it retains a certain heat; almost like a living creature. I absorb the healing warmth, feeling profoundly relaxed. I am glad to be alive. On all sides, towering sandstone walls lean over me; protecting me.
Below me is the dry river bed. Majestic cottonwoods grow along it; their tortured forms a testament to their will to survive. The green leaves are turned quicksilver by the full moon. A gentle, warm breeze whispers through the trees, telling secrets. The breeze is strangely perfumed with jasmine and other exotic aromas. Warm, velvet sand covers the landscape; broken here and there by fragrant sagebrush. Everything is lit with an ethereal, otherworldly radiance from the bright moon. High on a cliff wall cling the ruins of an Anasazi granary. The ancient remnants of this vanished civilization seem to be keeping constant vigil over all. The arching dome of the sky above me is a deep, deep sable blue. There are millions of brightly glittering stars, shining like beacons in a sea of emptiness. The moon is so bright as to be almost blinding, and an eerie rainbow of light rings it. I lie on the outcrop, trying to retain the memory of the shimmering radiance of this astral plane before it is gone forever. Peace, tranquility, and a deep sense of well-being are here. This perfumed desert night is available to all, surviving despite indifference, but seldom fully appreciated.