I’d looked forward to seeing the immense rock on the Navajo Reservation near Kayenta, Arizona. I wasn’t disappointed. This volcanic monolith rises over 1500 feet, straight up.
Agaathla Peak, meaning “much wool” in the Navajo language, is so named because of the tufts of deer and sheep wool caught in its sharp rock edges and deep crevices. In the summer with the thunderheads building, there is nothing more beautiful. The eagle was lagniappe.
Then I got to wondering. Had ever anyone climbed to the very top? If I asked a Navajo wise man, he would probably look at me as though I’d lost what few brains I had left and shake his head. “Bilagaana,” he’d mutter.
You’re probably on the right track if it’s uphill.
~ Anonymous ~
This is a commercially planted group of golden barrel cactus, also known as mother-in-law cushions. I know this because no self-respecting barrel would choose to grow this close to another, just like a wise mother-in-law (without the thorns)!
Barrels have a single blossom in the spring. You can see the remains here. What I like is their representation of both the short-term represented by the fading blossoms and the long-term potential of life. Living beings often grow slowly in the desert, taking time to put down roots. Under the right conditions, barrels live to be over a hundred years old.
These cacti remind me that we do not need a reason to exist–sometimes it is okay to just sit there and look beautiful.
Observe the space between your thoughts. Then observe the observer.
~ Hamilton Bordeaux
If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.
~ Oprah Winfrey
These young skunk cabbage were flourishing on a trail near the Museum of Northern Arizona one morning and I was struck by their vitality. There had been no rain and the ground was rocky and barren. Yet there they were.
What they had was enough: sun, air, a quiet place to grow.
I wonder if sometimes I am too focused on what I want and not enough on what I truly need to make life worthwhile.