Repost from September 2011
He was weary from the journey, the unforgiving desert seemed never ending. He couldn’t decide which was worse, the long flat dirt stretches mixed with a smattering of occasional cactus and creosote bush, or the rocky treacherous hills.
The topping of each hill or mountain felt like a little victory in itself but was short lived, only to discover another one following the last. He knew out there on the other side of the hottest stretch of dirt on earth was what he considered the promised land. He remembered the land transformed into it’s most unforgiving point right before the magical place.
After what seemed a lifetime, he finally reached the hidden treasure. The four thousand foot mountain range. He could see for endless miles west from that vantage point. He knew his destination was in reach as he braced himself and slowly made the descent back and forth, cautiously down the mountain. The drop off in spots was several hundred-foot sheer cliffs. One wrong move would mean certain death.
He smelled it before could see it. After a treacherous journey, he could feel the air begin to cool. He could almost taste the cold water as he swallowed, his dry mouth beginning to water in anticipation.
He crested one last hill, not knowing for sure if that was the last one, but alas he found himself looking at the most beautiful place on earth. His aching back and legs now couldn’t be felt.
He beheld the beauty first. Right out of nowhere it looked like his personal Garden Of Eden had sprung up. The vivid green leaves of the well watered cottonwoods formed a tall barrier hiding the treasure below that sustained them.
Below that, deep rich green bushes and vegetation among the cottonwoods spread out and up from the valley. Across the canyon, he glanced a high mesa, “If this were my land that’s where I’d build my home,” he mumbled in a low, barely audible voice as he talked to himself.
He envisioned looking out over the valley from that mesa in the late Fall afternoon. He could picture in his mind the beauty enriched by the long shadows across his perfect canyon.
He suspected a place that beautiful would likely have some dangers. He thought about the serpent in the Garden Of Eden he learned of as a child. His head locked straight ahead, eyes squinting at half mast, trying to focus as he searched for any movement. Even more troublesome would be the two-legged animal. He’d come to realize it was easier to guess what a wild animal might do than it was a desperate human.
As he slowly continued along the far ridge, he caught sight of the very source of life that turned that place into an oasis. Making its way through the golden crust and sand, he spotted glimpses between a few cottonwoods of the dark blue shimmering water. He could see the sun brilliantly reflect off some of the bigger partially wet boulders flanking the creek.
He’d seen the beauty many times… He got close so often but never got to touch or drink the cool water or sit in the shade of the heavy cottonwoods with his toes buried in the golden sand.
He was moving too fast… He had a schedule to keep, he had responsibilities. He was caught on the hamster wheel just like a rodent… He could only look at the beauty and study it by slowing down to 70 miles per hour as he passed by on the interstate.
Those were the dreams of his youth… Those were the dreams of yesteryears…
The road to the big city was the on-ramp to life in the fast lane.
He remembered the verse from the Bible, “Be still and know that I Am God”….
He wasn’t very good at that one…
He is me…