Surrounded by desert for as far as the eye can see brings one back to Self like no other landscape.
An ocean brings peaceful contemplation through the constant rhythm and vibration of waves.
A forest seems to wrap its soothing canopy around you, much like a pine scented quilt and the sound of wind through towering treetops hypnotize the senses into a state of serenity.
The wide open plains bring a balancing perspective to the eye that the mind may have forgotten.
Rugged mountaintop retreats have a way of lifting you above and beyond the reach of everyday burdens.
But the desert is an entirely different story. One must seek out comfort here. The surface showcases an unwelcoming menagerie of thorny bushes and prickly cacti and on a windy day the dust sticks to the backside of your throat so you can actually taste its gritty essence right before it throws you into a choking fit.
Cacti are anything but comforting and a ‘no touch’ policy is the only way to treat these magnificent warriors that not only survive but flourish in heat that fries a human brain. More than once an innocent looking cholla cactus has seemingly leapt through thin air and fastened itself to my unprotected ankle or pant leg.
Yet, birds build beautiful finely-constructed nests and raise their families within the heart of these brutal looking desert plants and pay no never mind to what we see as an undesirable, unlivable frightening ghetto.
You find towering saguaros filled with carefully carved openings made by these same crafty winged creatures, again used as neighborhoods for raising their young and perches upon which to safely set and sing their joyful melodies. They learned long ago that the thorns and stickers keep predators at bay, a genius strategy that allows them to thrive.
Everything from cottontail rabbits, gangly-eared long-legged desert hares, fast-as-lightening lizards, crafty coyotes, plump breasted quail and yes, Dave even saw a fox a few days ago, call this dusty, dry, vastly barren land home. (I won’t even get into the snakes, tarantulas, tortoises, fire ants and the like.)
Survival of the fittest isn’t just a catch-phrase in the desert, it’s reality with a capital R! You must create your own ‘safe place’ here, where bullies are too cowardly to roam, you outsmart that which tries to invade and destroy your livelihood and family and then you find a pulpit where you can stand tall and sing out your victory songs!
Yes, the desert brings one back to Self like no other landscape and reminds us that the only true lasing balance in life comes from taking care of Your-Self. Survival is seeking out and finding ways to be Self-Sufficient even when surrounded by elements that seem to want to choke the life right out of you.
Go to the oceans, forests, open plains and mountains to seek out peaceful affirmations of serenity and comfort
Then if you’re ready to take on the gut wrenching challenge of seeking balance through Self-Thought, Self-Intent and Self-Action, head to the desert my friends.
Be very still and watch what transpires there like a hawk, yes they’re here too along with the vultures to clean up the rotting flesh of those that died trying.
It ain’t a lesson for sissies…..
But then … neither is Life.