Here I am, standing in the gun turret of a Humvee, and I have the chance to see what has been the most beautiful display of nature in my life.
The mountains of the Mojave desert stretch long and wide in the distance. A vast sandy plain lies between them and myself. Shrubs and other dry greenery dot the landscape.
The sun has just set and the indigo shy has taken over. Between two eastern peaks — a full moon ascends over the landscape. This large, yellow orb slowly takes it place in the darkening night sky — its aura becoming the source of the evening light. The sound of the wind is our only company.
Suddenly, the noise is broken.
I look — and in the southern distance, two blinking red lights hover ever closer. The chopping sound of a Chinook takes over while it sails clear into the view with the mountains and the moon before moving on its way to a safe landing — only a few hundred yards away.
Tonight is a good night.
Written on 16 July 2016 while on a midnight security detail in the Mojave desert during a U.S. Army NTC rotation.