I have a fascination with lichen, perhaps because it is so tenacious and tough. It thrives where there are few nutrients, and in the desert, where there is little moisture as well.
For example, notice this desert lichen, a little crackly about the edges, but still hanging in there.
It is hard to predict where life will take root, and how it will thrive under the most unexpected circumstances.
It’s like that for us, too. There is a vast difference between what we want versus what we need in order to build a life for ourselves. It is often not what we choose, but what we are given that allows us to grow into what we were meant to be.
~For every problem there is a solution
which is simple, clean,
and wrong. ~Henry Louis Mencken~
One of the most famous rock formations near Sedona, Arizona is called Coffee Pot Rock. It is shaped like one of those old-fashioned campfire coffee pots that the cowboy cooks always used to keep at the ready, of course. What could be more fitting for this Western town.
I took this picture from an urban trail, located right in the middle of West Sedona. Later in the day there would be sightseeing helicopters buzzing over head and packs of tourists taking selfies. But just now, with the sun early up and the light still golden-wonderful, it was just me and the red rocks.
Coffee Pot Rock isn’t permanent, though. Just as the Old-Man-in-the-Mountain granite profile in New Hampshire lost its nose a few years back, this icon is slowly fading away, too. What you can’t see from this picture is a neat slice off the back of the spout of the pot, now lying crumbling at the base of the cliff. Nothing lasts forever!
Glance at the sun. See the moon and stars. Gaze at the beauty of the green earth. Now think. ~Hildegard of Bingen~
The quality of light in Arizona is intense, and never more so than at sunset during monsoon season. For two summer months, the afternoon clouds build, fierce thunderstorms crash and threaten. Then it is over. Or is it?
As a photographer, I’ve learned to be patient. If I wait out the storm, and stick around for the aftermath, a brilliantly hued sunset often occurs. It is time well-spent.
The end of summer is always hard on me. Trying to cram in all the goofing off I’ve been meaning to do. ~Calvin and Hobbes~
As you drive through Oak Creek Canyon, you’ll see a sign for Ensinoso Park. There, if you stop your car and walk down the hill you’ll find this secret place.
I’ve visited when it is dressed in winter white and fall gold, but nothing is so startling as the passionate green of summer, when the creek borrows color from the moisture-loving sycamores, alders, and ashes that line the banks.
To me, water is the ultimate “yes” person. It says, whatever you want me to be, I’ll be. Hard, soft, liquid, mist. I’ll reflect back your blue skies, your gray storms, your green leaves. Yes! I’m here. Just ask.
Summer afternoon–summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. ~Henry James~
There once was a flock of white doves that lived in the ledges at the top of the Spire of Castle Rock, near the Village of Oak Creek.
Each morning I would watch them circle the spire once, twice, and then disappear into the sunlit clouds. I waited for them. Their gentle flight set my world in order and welcomed me into the day.
Sometimes moments of beauty can be anticipated, and that makes them even more rich and unforgettable.
When you do fall into presence, you know it instantly, feel at home instantly. And being home, you can let loose, let go, rest in your being,
rest in awareness, in presence itself,
in your own good company. ~Jon Kabat-Zinn~