Smell the Pastels

Las Vegas Desert

I awoke today remembering the fresh smells of the desert in winter.  Now some of you may say the desert has no smell, much more, in the winter.  I say it does.  You know that time just after the sun comes up, when the birds aren’t quite awake yet.  You must strain your ears to hear signs of life.  Then you quiet your mind.  Close your eyes and you see with your ears as the leaf turns over in the weeds as the dust of the past ten thousand years rolls off.  You notice the moisture in your mouth in contrast to the sound of the desiccated leaf and the smell of the dust as it works its way up to your arid nostrils.

Yes, there is a hint of a scent of the desert.  You see, the desert is a world of pastels, and hints of something, a smell, a color, a life.  It is not teeming with life the way the North is with all its’ water verdantly, abundantly teems.  If you ever are in the desert, I invite you to get up early, just before dawn.  Find a place where there is no one around, preferably for miles, and bring a chair.  Sit down in the chair.  Close your eyes.  Quiet and open your mind.  Ask the desert to reveal its’ secrets.  Thank the desert for sharing its’ beauty with you.  The same desert that settlers died in trying to make a life for themselves.  Then listen.  Feel.  Love.  Be grateful.  For what?  You will know.

I have often described the desert to people who didn’t like it.  Only to turn their understanding around.  You see I am firm believer if someone says they don’t like something it simply means they have yet to gain an understanding of that something and appreciate it for all it’s worth.  Dr. Wayne Dyer speaks of having appreciation for all things: the cockroach, the homeless man urinating in public, the things that we look on with judgement.  Although I can not claim to have mastered this, I appreciate the direction of his inclination.  I choose to be worthy of witnessing all things free of judgement.  Things are what they are, until you attach a new meaning to them. Stephen Covey speaks of, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”  I like this approach. See all things for the divine brilliance which is within them. If everything has been created by god and everything is of god, then when we view everything with the purity that it is and that we are, we learn, grow, and are able to see the pastels in all things.


James Christopher

Lake Mead

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