memoir · personal

Sandstorm in the Desert

I was born there, on the night of a bad sandstorm. Death Valley, this year filled with yellow blooms–California poppies, if the pictures do not deceive my eyes. Record rainfall encouraged blossoms to spread over the sand that on the night of my birth swirled through the air and made driving dangerous.

It’s a recurring story in my childhood. I’m not sure how often my mother actually told me, or my father. Probably not as often as I feel, but often enough that it has often burned vivid in my memory. Absent from my memories for some time, now, the news story about the wildflower blooms summoned it back to me.

My life began with irony.

My mother always called me her miracle–I almost died that night, so did she. The umbilical cord threatened to strangle out the life it provided. My twin did not survive the birth.

That’s always stayed with me–my mother and father telling me my sister died so that I might live. My life beginning in the midst of death. It felt like such a mistake.

And yet. Life blooms in the desert.

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