As I gazed across the parched desert, I tried to lick my cracked lips but found my mouth as dry the desert before me. My skin was as dehydrated and wrinkly as a dried up old raisin. I scanned the desert again. Could there be any life in this dry, desolate, place? Anything at all that could help me survive or at least quench my thirst? As I strained my eyes looking for something…anything, I saw an oasis in the distance. A flame of hope was sparked in my soul as I gazed at the Oasis. A welcome sight in this desolate place! I saw green grass, an artesian fountain, and…wonder of wonders…there was a tree over burdened with peaches! Yes, peaches! Think of that! Peaches in a dessert! I hadn’t eaten a peach in years. In fact, it had been years since I’d even seen one.
A peach tree in the Arabian dessert? Who would have thought? I grabbed my dusty, brown, holey, satchel and started in the direction of the oasis. I would fill it with peaches for my buddies and I. They would sustain us until help arrived. I could fill my canteen from the fountain. Our luck had finally turned! As I made my way across the desert I didn’t even feel the blazing sun on my back, or mind the blowing sand blasting my face.
Seeing that peach tree in that green lush oasis with that fountain jogged long forgotten memories. My mind drifted back to my favorite childhood haunt. The lush green pasture on my grandparents’ farm. I could see, hear, and smell it even as I crossed the dry cracked desert. The cool green grass blowing in the wind. Content cattle and horses quietly grazing next to a playful, gurgling, dancing brook. The cool, soothing breeze, caressing and cooling my wet, sweaty skin after my romp in the pasture with my cousins. Laying under the willow tree smelling sweet smell of fresh cut hay as I savor the fresh peach from the nearby orchard.
As much as I loved the pasture, the orchards were my favorite – apples, pears, and peaches. Mmm, peaches! Oh, how my cousins and I enjoyed a sweet, juicy, refreshing peach on a hot summer day! My grandparents told us that we could help ourselves to as many of them as we wanted. My cousins and I took them at their word and would fill our shirts full of them. Then we would creep to our hidden club house in a lonely grove of trees and enjoy our feast.
As I reminisced about playing with my cousins, cooling off with a refreshing peach, and many other long lost childhood memories, I could feel the breeze on my cheeks, I could taste the mouth watering sweetness of the peaches. I slowly made my way toward the oasis with those memories dancing in my head. They brought life to the desert and the heat no longer bothered me nor tortured my soul. I could hardly contain my excitement at the thought of the sweet refreshing juices and how they would sustain my buddies and I until help arrived.
The thought of the delicious peaches and the sweet refreshing water consumed me and filled me with hope. We would make it! My buddies and I would survive. I’d fill my bag and every item I could make into a peach holder with peaches to take back to them. Delirious with joy and hope, feelings I had not had in weeks, I quickened my pace to a jog. As I neared the oasis, the fountain, peach tree, and grass dissipated before my very eyes. NO!!!! I had been fooled by a mirage!
Death…once again surrounded by death, hopelessness, and also fading memories and lost dreams of cool, refreshing streams, trees, and peaches, I collapsed in despair unable to move forward or turn back.