Written by Karen D. Swim
“What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The imagery of the desert is often used to symbolize adversity or those seasons in our life when we are challenged from every angle. The dry, scrabbly land and unforgiving climate aptly describe how we feel when we toil for answers and receive no harvest in return.
In the desert, relationships change. Just like the sun, welcoming in fair weather but becoming a fiery enemy in the desert region, searing your defenses with its white hot rays. You are forced to slow your pace, to measure your steps and adapt to the land like the prickly cacti that conserve their own water to survive.
“Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.” –Arthur Golden
Yet, both adversity and the desert, difficult and unkind on the surface can bring forth a beauty unequaled in “milder” climates. In the desert you tap into your source of inner strength as you still the confusion and tune into the silence that surrounds you. Like the cacti, you draw from your inner well to nourish and sustain you. You no longer drink arrogantly allowing the liquid of life to spill to the ground and evaporate but savour each precious as it revives and restores you.
In the inky night sky of the desert the stars are at their most brilliant. And in the darkness of challenge, it is our faith that lights up the sky shining brighter than ever before.
I have never willingly planned a vacation in the land of adversity but I will admit to learning my greatest lessons while there. I have been scorched by the desert sun and momentarily been fooled by the mirage of false hope. I believed that I would perish in the wilderness and the vultures would feast upon my carcass. It was in the darkness of those moments that water poured from the rocky land nourishing me and giving me hope that I would find my way home.
When I finally made my way to the end of the desert path, I looked back to see the dry and rocky land covered in a field of sprawling wildflowers,strong, untamed and free.
It is said that adversity is the best teacher, do you agree?
This post is an entry in the What I Learned from Adversity group writing project. The writing project is open to everyone and if you’d like to contribute, the deadline is midnight April 12th.