Most everyone has seen a Saguaro cactus either up close and personal or in pictures of the deserts of western North America. I see them daily and marvel at their uniqueness. Each one offers a distinct silhouette against the backdrop of an otherwise barren landscape. These amazing plants can tolerate temperatures over 100 degrees in summer yet can perish from long periods of below freezing weather. Their root systems are shallow so they can be toppled from what one would think would be a good thing in the desert – rain. It seems that too much of a good thing – heavy monsoons that happen occasionally in late summer – can topple even some of these huge plants that weigh over eight tons. Their growth is slow but steady taking 75 years to grow their first arm.
The thing that strikes me is how these cactus serve as a metaphor for human existence. Each of such is unique – we are truly one of a kind with our own strengths and differences. We all have our prickly side that can, at times, keep others away. Maybe it is self protection or maybe it’s simply fear but we can be quite good at it. Each of us has a distinct look, behavior and growing experience. We too can tolerate extremes but for us it is in behavior. At times we are able to withstand the slings and arrows of life and continue on growing and developing. Yet, just like the freezing temperature renders the cactus lifeless, we too, at times, can be rendered helpless or hopeless from life experiences. We have learned that it is true…there is such a thing as having too much of a good thing.
The major difference, in seems, is that when a cactus has fallen it is simply and completely done. There is no opportunity to raise it to its once majestic form. For humans, on the other hand, we can find a person, place or situation that can help to renew our broken spirit. We may be down for the count but we are not out. We can once again not only survive but thrive from the care and concern from another. When others offer their hand to us in our time of greatest need everyone benefits. The safety net of another’s heart allows us to stand upright and move on with grace.
Nature offers so many examples of the commonalities and differences that exist in our world. We are dependently independent on the uniqueness of each other. When we accept that each of us plays a definite and unique role in making the world a little better place we reflect the lessons of nature. We survive not in spite of but because of each other. How fortunate we are to be alive and living on planet earth and aware that, All Is As It Should Be.
Have a great few days!