A Pathway To Be Explored

17 Nov

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Today I ventured out into the world and came upon a pathway I had not known before.  It invited me into a gently sloping descent, over a small stream curling around large gray stones, past desert wrens singing their morning songs, and into a grove of small palo verde trees.   Beside the pathway, stark against the mountain ridge beyond, stood a rather average green limbed tree and a not too distinctive saguaro cactus.  But what caught my attention was their embrace.

I sat on a nearby flat stone and wondered at the unusual sight, the intimate proximity of cactus and tree, thorn and leaf.  “You appear puzzled,” Cactus observed.  “Yes,” I replied, “you are so different and yet here you are side by side.”

“We are different,” Palo Verde said, joining the conversation.  “I have no beautiful shape like an oak, no scarlet leaves like the maple. I do not rise into the the clouds like the sequoia.   I am rather plain in the world, but I am here.”  “And I,” added Cactus, “live in this hard, coarse skin shielded by my sharp, menacing thorns.  Sometimes I frighten people who pass by.  They keep their distance, never come close.  But I am here.”

“You seem to have made the most of your awkward situation,” I observed.  “Yes,” Tree answered, “but it wasn’t easy at first.  We both got in each other’s way as we grew from Ground, but then one day we looked at each other and realized that we spring from the same earth.  We are nourished by the same Rain, warmed by Sun who smiles upon us both.  And over time we grow stronger together.  We  discovered that we are meant to be what we are and that we can help each other in spite of our differences.”

“She’s right,” Cactus added.  “We both enjoy visits from song birds who make their nests in Tree and from Desert Wren who feels welcome to perch on my sharp thorns and chatter to the world.  Tree offers me shade in the hot summer sun and I, in turn, share my reservoir of Rain that I store inside.  We both found that we just wanted to be what we are, and that we can be, leaf to thorn, if we find more that holds us together rather than what makes us different and keeps us apart.”

“We understand each other,” Tree explained as Wind nestled her closer to Cactus.  “We have no idea why Ground put us so close together, but we are here.  We decided not to make the best of a what appeared at first to be a bad situation, but to stand together by this pathway and welcome all who wonder as the pass by.”

Today I ventured out into the world and came upon a pathway I had not known before.  It is a pathway to be explored.

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