Episode 13: Sounds of the Desert ft. Amy Katherine Cannon


This episode is written by Amy Katherine Cannon from her work "Desert Retreat", she is a poet and writer living in Los Angeles. Revel in the sounds of the desert, the flora, the fauna, the hot sun, the cool night, the bright stars and more.

That the desert heat can be a pleasure, radiant, pulsating, breathtaking at least for a little while, it feels good to be out in it, feels good to be a little sunstrucked, a bit burned.

That there’s so much here that lives on so little, the birds that build hollows in the prickly pear, the lizards that scatter with every step you take, the mice that forage in scant shade.

That on retreat, you wake up in the morning when your body wants to, that it’s often earlier than it would be at home, that you stay in bed and listen for a while to the day starting around you, that it sounds so different from a day in the city.

That you have a shaded porch with a rocking chair with the porches surrounded by Wisteria vines, the vines blossom extravagantly in purple columns. That everyday hummingbirds come to drink from the flowers but they begin to be curious about you, so close to their flowers and turn one way and then another to look at you through small liquid eyes, that you mean them no harm but they don’t quite believe it and hover just out of reach.

That you have a small kitchen all to yourself, that you make three careful meals a day at leisure, sometimes listening to music, sometimes singing to yourself, sometimes simply concentrating on the measuring and the chopping and the meditative practice of cooking for only yourself.

That you worked all day uninterrupted on a desk that faces out over the California desert, that you can pause and think and watch the day unfold, that you can take a break to hike whenever you want to but that you try to stay at your desk, that getting things done here isn’t hectic or rushed.

That you try to make a point of watching the sunset every night, that you have a wide, wide view of hills and valleys that fade and change, that every few minutes you want to take a new picture because the colors are even more beautiful and dimensional than they were before, that no picture you take ever really captures the way it is, that you learn to accept this.

That you can finally, finally see the stars at night away from the city, that it’s too cold to stay out long in all that late dark but it’s worth a few minutes every night of cold, clear, beautiful constellations, you can make out the Milky Way and remember how small you are in it.

That the silence of nature is not really silent at all, that it buzzes and hums with life, with insects and rodents and coyotes and birds and wind in the chaparral and the grass, that the peace you were looking for turns out differently than you thought.



Happiness Spells Podcast is a five minute list of all the greatest pleasures and smallest joys in life. Increase your capacity for positivity, curiosity and gratitude. New episodes every Monday and Thursday.

This episode of Happiness Spells was written, arranged, recorded and produced by Amanda Meyncke in Los Angeles, California. Our music is by Chris Zabriskie. Special sounds via FreeSound.org, and Kangaroo Vindaloo.

Amanda Meyncke