The Desert of Sisterly Love

Two sisters embark on a long-overdue pilgrimage to Joshua Tree desert. 

Nearly ten years have passed — quickly –since we’ve last traveled together. Weeks roll into months, and months into years. The sun rises and sets in fast-forward, an orange ball speeding through the sky. Seasons change as surely as we breathe. And soon we find ourselves another age older.

My sister is six years my elder. Growing up, she weathered my teenage attitude, riddled with angst and dramatic tendencies. She was always the calm in the storm I was brewing. When I went to college (and somewhat mellowed out), we became friends. Real, authentic, soulful friends. Over a telephone line and across hundreds of miles, we shared our lives and listened to one another. When I would visit for the weekend, we would tell stories and laugh until our bellies hurt.

But, with time comes certain life trials, heartache and unforeseeable turns. It becomes easy to stop sharing and retreat to a comfort zone. For us, phone calls became text messages and plans were put on hold. We would schedule for “in a few weeks” or “next month.” We fell into a cycle, trapped by life’s daily routine.

Our closeness never faded over the years, however. We were still two close friends, the same as all those years ago, even when time was working its wedge between us. Though we spoke less, conversations always seemed to pick up right where we left off.

This past weekend, we traveled to Joshua Tree, California. Our schedules aligned, and we jumped at the chance to spend time together, both in need of inspiration and the vast dry land that provides it in abundance. We climbed rocks, sat out on the edge and looked out into the openness. We told life stories, asked each other’s advice and shared answers, honestly. We spoke of our fears and smiled at our celebrations. Out there in the desert, there was no judgement…only love.

As I sit here now, I realize the unending specialness of my sister. Unbeknownst to me, all those years ago as an emotional and challenging kid, her patience, grace and openness was creating a lasting effect on me. She was teaching me real love by living it, towards me. And now all I can give back to her is exactly that.


+This weekend was soul-satisfyingly perfect. With whom do you need to reconnect? Won’t you consider reaching out to them today?

Follow Joanna on Instagram.

Free People Blog