Top 10 – Life Lessons From The Desert
“What I Learned While Jeeping Through Arizona With Friends”
- Perception is not reality. The clarity of the desert air and the landscape can be deceptive. Don’t always take something you see at face value. A destination may seem like you are “just about there” when in fact it is another hour of travel. Likewise, a rock formation that is “way over there” will be reached in two turns of the road and 3 minutes. Don’t trust your perception of things.
- Things are not always what they seem. This is not just another way of saying #1; this is physical and real. Fuzzy looking things may not be (and in the desert – most likely are not) fuzzy. Chances are that the fuzzy soft looking plant fur is actually prickly little spines that you will soon regret brushing up against. Trust me on this one.
- Just go limp. Seriously. There is nothing to be gained, and much soreness to be added to your life when you resist what is coming your way. 4 x4’ing in the desert will teach you this in short order. Relax, go limp and just roll with it; and have fun while you get tossed around. It’s going to happen anyways, you may as well enjoy the ride.
- Accept help when it’s offered. Sure, I could have struggled and made it in and out of the jeep without help; but it sure went a lot smoother with a helping hand or two. There are enough times in life when you won’t have help and you will HAVE no choice but to go it alone. Why in the world not take the help when it’s there.
- Trust. Sometimes you can’t see what’s ahead and you have to trust someone who says that they can and that it will be ok. Just point the wheels in the direction they say is good and give it some gas. Trust.
- Don’t be a litterbug. Seriously. The sight of a lone beer can in the vast expanse of desert is infuriating. Don’t be a douche. Clean up after yourself.
- Death is a part of life. Looking across the landscape you see the cycle of birth, growth and death in action. Dead plants and animals decompose and nourish the new growth that goes on after them. Sometimes new life even springs up inside the old dead husks left behind. Sad and beautiful all together. Life.
- There is always hope. Waiting for the return of rain, the desert embodies the hope for the tides to turn that we sometimes have a hard time holding onto. The rain always returns, even if it takes longer than expected. Hope.
- Life will always balance. Life will always change. A two for one… A look around at the rocks that seem to have landed, like giant’s playthings, on one another, shows that perfectly. It all balances. Until it doesn’t anymore, and the rocks tumble and find new resting places where they fit.
- Not all truths are universal, some are fluid and specific to persons and places and situations. “Winter” in Arizona is not “Winter” in British Columbia, Canada. The same season looks wildly different but they are both “Winter”. The sun and the warmth of January in Arizona is not what the truth of “Winter” means to me; but it is truth in Arizona. It’s still winter even if it doesn’t look and feel like my winter.