sand canyon ruins

sand canyon, cortez (colorado)

spent our Friday afternoon wandering with wonder around an unbelievably beautiful chunk of desert (somehow the words "unbelievably beautiful" and "chunk" feel awkward side by side?).  saw beautiful ruins (see below).  

i didn't grow up around the desert, but each time i find myself surrounded by cacti and other scary plants that want to stab me, i feel a sweet calm wash over me. 

desert is desert is desert?  not at all (ps everytime i write about the desert or dessert there comes a point where i'm no longer sure i'm using the correct word and if i'm writing about a desert all of a sudden i'm craving dessert - like now...) 

there is so much to revere about desert life.  much like a monet painting, there's a vast difference in what we experience from up close vs. what we perceive from afar.  and when we cultivate respect through the lens of survival, the possibilities for awe are endless: the arava desert in Israel, for example, receives roughly 30 mm (!!!!!!) of rainfall per year (and they've been receiving significantly less as of late).  but the plants dance their way through survival, the animals somehow manage, and life continues to BE.

i found this quote on my onedrive - sent to me two years ago today, and i feel it's appropriate to share.

"i can't be a pessimist because i'm alive. to be a pessimist means that you have agreed that human life is an academic matter, so i'm forced to be an optimist. i'm forced to believe that we can survive whatever we must survive." -james baldwin

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Hannah Smith