The desert in bloom. To those of us who don’t live there, this seems so unlikely as to be miraculous. And it is. Dry, windblown, desiccated for most of the year, suddenly with the spring, presto! And given the unusually frequent rains the winter of early 2010, that spring’s cactus really went hog-wild. Forgive the mixed metaphor. Here’s another: Vacations in Tucson for me open my spirit, provide the vast, unobstructed perspectives that my home in the Northeast Corridor does not. Whenever I’m here in the Sonoran Desert, creative ideas emerge as easily as these unexpected yellow blooms on the purple Santa Rita cactus. Could that be one reason why so many artists, writers and free thinkers have gravitated to this liberal oasis within the conservative Southwest? When my artist-friends Simon and David moved here some 20 years ago, I asked Simon (a child of the Massachusetts coast) how he could stand being so far away from the sea. His answer: “The sky compensates.” Yes.