Scott Stillman

"There is magic in stillness. That place where all thought stops, and only beauty remains."


Excerpt from Chapter 11
Music Canyon / The Great Abyss
Under a forest of saguaros we wake to the sound of music. Birds are singing, butterflies dancing, all to the glory of the Superstition Mountains.

This canyon--a verdant desert where sand does not blow--is anchored by grasses, shrubs, and blooming gardens of cacti. Prickly pear, fishhook, agave, jumping cholla. The barrel, the beehive, the rainbow, the hedgehog. And the greatest, stateliest, mightiest of them all: the saguaro. With arms outstretched, angling toward the sun, these jolly giants celebrate spry character and zesty flamboyance. Some have many arms, dancing, waving, bending in all sorts of ridiculous ways, twisting and contorting in maddening configurations. Oddballs. Jokers in the deck. Others are single units, plain as cucumbers, true as telephone poles. Still others are elegant, dignified, with neither flaw nor blemish--two arms assume the proper position, like a Hollywood movie poster, a Vegas billboard, a flashing neon sign. So enigmatic and self-expressive, as they beam striking individuality unto the world.  

Oh, to be a cactus! Functioning flawlessly in their unique and vivacious ways. In their presence, I feel not a traveler but a part of the story, a character in the play, a piece to the puzzle.

Further, deeper we plunge into a chorus of crickets, strange birds, and hidden owls. The delicate tinkling of water drifts in from the canyons, the desert brimming with abundance. Hopping from stone to stone, wading through pools with shoes and socks in hand, we splash through the afternoon, delighting in the warmth of springtime in the desert. Such is life in Music Canyon...

End of Sample.

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