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Oasis or Mirage?

By Brooke Benton

A few winters ago, a few of my siblings and I met for a few hours in Palm desert. We lay on chaise lounges poolside, a hyper-green golf course stretched for acres to our right, a gondola splashed through a manmade canal, and hundreds of palm trees soared above us. It was so lush. Only distantly could you see some orange mountains on the horizon. My sister made the observation:

“This is really pretty. Even though none of it is real.”

This thought came to me after reading Truth Beautiful, Elaine Rumsey Wagner’s poem in the latest issue of Segullah. More than beg the question:

What is real beauty?

She answers it for herself as she grows into adulthood and realizes something through juxtapositions of age and youth—dollars saved one by one in piggy bank fashion versus careless junior college educations, frailty in a wheelchair versus the lazy youthful balance on four inch heels.

What in your life is “so beautiful” that it lingers, like the last line of this poem, like more than just the oasis (but also the steadfast desert), like the wisdom of a grandmother, as a resonant truth?

About Brooke Benton

(Blog Team) is attempting inner om with this writing stuff. Proud to claim four loud children, a patient husband and a fat black cat as family, she feels blessed to be their mommy-- their giver of kisses and baker of cookies. She is ever seeking a good novel and wishing for the sand between her toes, palm trees, the ocean.

4 thoughts on “Oasis or Mirage?”

  1. Being a mother lingers for me. As does being a wife. Neither is easy. Both take a lot of work and stretching and growing. Both have joyful, wonderful times, too. Both are changing me for the better.

    Becoming close friends with my sister lingers. The hurts and bad memories forgiven and forgotten, hopes and dreams shared, really getting each other . . . she is a beautiful part of my life.

    There's more . . . but no more time.

    I enjoyed your post and thinking on these things, Brooke.

  2. Yes, motherhood. It is a dress too beautiful to take off. It is word and song stuck in my mind by its insistence and splendor. It is a painting; realistic and abstract; that catches my breath and begs me stay and consider its meaning. I cherish the only related wisdom of my great-grandmother; emerging from a life of industry and practicality: 'The best time of my life was when the little ones were round my feet.'

    I agree with Wendy; the investment and often loss of self to relationships returns eternal beauty in my life.

  3. Seeing my kids playing outside with their friends in late summer – totally innocent, totally free of stress, totally happy, totally barefoot.



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