When we were hiking Red Rocks Canyon, I was desperately in search of life. I had high hopes of seeing the desert in bloom and some interesting wildlife. And while I did see cacti and a little lizard, the landscape seemed barren to me and the wildlife I saw was mostly on The Strip.
I was, admittedly, a little disappointed.
But then we came to a sign that explained 7 different communities of plants and animals in the area where we had stopped. This fascinated me for several reasons. For one thing, I loved that the plants and animals that live and grow together are called a community. Totally made sense to me. And, it shocked me that this small area could have so many little worlds in it and that they could live side-by-side. But mostly, I was amazed that this area that did not look very alive to me (as it was sand and rocks and appeared to simply have some scattered weeds around) was, in fact, extremely alive and thriving.
It got me thinking.
What constitutes a weed as opposed to a plant? Who decides what is beautiful and what is dull? At the visitor center of the park, there were exhibits featuring all the plants I did see. Plants that I disregarded. Evidently, to someone, they were something worth talking about. Isn’t it a bit like Middle School where some kids are popular and in the spotlight and some are in the shadows? You might not recognize the quieter, less gregarious students at first – they’re just less flashy.
Any environment may allow growth, but limitations exist. Ferns won’t grow in the desert. They’d be miserable there. But cacti can’t grow in the tundra either. Maybe there’s a place for everything and everyone and we need to find where we can grow best. I was in a great advertising/pr agency yesterday. The people there seem to be thriving. But I couldn’t be happy in that atmosphere any more; the hours and the pace might just kill me. Besides, I have other priorities. And I promise that some of those high-powered and social people would hate working in solitude, like I so often do.
I loved the peacefulness of the desert. The rock formations were humbling. And a place this huge made me think about how big the world is and how small our part is.
I would love to see the desert in bloom.