Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Desert

This journey expands your geographic knowledge of the Otherworld.  Travel south and east, away from the ocean, over the mountains that cradle the lowlands between them and the sea.  These are the desert lands, a place where you can learn to spot hope and life in seeming desolation.  Notice the light here is bright, harsh and strong; it heats the rocks and backs the earth.

Unlike many of the other places you have been led in these journeys, this is a place of austerity and unique adaptation.  The plants, animals and beings that inhabit the desert are important teachers; their power is in their ability to adapt, to persevere, to thrive in a harsh, demanding world.  Here, more than any other place you have been to, requires balance.

Look around at the faded desert shrubbery.  It looks nearly dead, doesn't it? The leaves look dry and brittle, but touch them.  They are surprisingly soft and supple.  The wood of these bushes is cracked and splintery, but they harbor a secret: these fibers have the amazing ability to hold what water comes their way and save it for when it's really needed.  Keep looking.  Do you see how many different animals are here?  From tiny mice, to families of quail, snakes, hares, coyotes, and many others make their home in this land.

The inhabitants here respect one another.  They understand that their lives, and deaths, are part of the great cycle of being.  A snake may eat the mouse, and in turn become food to an eagle, who dies and feeds the land itself.  If one species becomes overpopulated, they all feel the effects of that imbalance, sooner or later.  It doesn't matter whether the species is a grass or predator.  They are equally important.  They have all developed amazing adaptations to survive the heat of the day, the cold of the night, and the lack of regular rainfall.  They blend with their environment so carefully, as to be invisible.

Spend some time observing the careful, subtle balance and beauty of this place.  Do you see how dependent each species is on the others?  Do you identify with a particular animal or plant?  Do you see yourself reflected int his environment?  Watch as the day changes to night.  Do you see a new world here?  Enjoy the exploration of this desert.  It's secrets and lessons are many, and it will take time to learn them.  You may also find traces of other travelers, of peoples who have lived there.  They may be hidden or careful preserved.  Take your time, embrace your bravery and explore.