Only the toughest survive in the harsh Arizona climate. And even then, the toughest sometimes succumb to the realities of the life cycle.
Hiking through the Usery Mountain Recreation Area with my wife, Patti, I came across a cactus that had seen better days. The texture of the inside demanded my attention and made me think about the challenges life throws at us and what those challenges can do to us.
Surrounded by the thriving, although not the prettiest, living desert shrubs, grass and trees, this lonely, dilapidated cactus exposed its inners, telling us, “Stop! Look at me.”
It wanted to tell about its past, how it once lived and enjoyed the sun; how it once provided refuge for small desert critters and birds that carved small homes into its side; how it once was needed; gave of itself.
It begged to be back there again.
It said, “Don’t be so narcissistic to think you stand alone in life — the only one to have challenges.”