arid, desolate, lonely, bare, waste, wild
((...Not very exciting, is it?))
Next to one of the museum display photos, I found a description of this land very
"This country in hard, and it's harsh, and you don't change it, it changes you", caught my eye. It took me a few years of living here to start to see the beauty. In my journey through the daily grace gifts, I have learned to appreciate my surroundings. I have learned that there is still beauty in the dry places. I just wasn't looking for it. I didn't want to change. I wanted 'greener pastures', if you will. I was thinking about this last week on our way to church while going across the border. I posted this on Facebook the other day:
" I always look at things differently when I know we have company coming. El Paso/Juárez is not known for being a clean town. It is not a 'destination city'. There's trash. There's sand. Lots and lots of sand. There's wind. Oh, the wind!! Some of you will remember my posts about keeping a record of graces and posting 3 specific gifts of grace a day. I began to look around a bit closer then and noticed that we actually *do* have trees here. We have the bluest skies. And the sunsets behind the mountains in back of our house? Magnificent. I notice these things more when I try to see what others would see. My friend, Kara (a cheerful soul) is coming in July. John said to me the other day when I mentioned looking at things the way Kara might see them, "She'll see a lot of brown and trash". I said, "No. She'll see the beauty of being surrounded by mountains. She'll see our sunset in all it's stunning glory. She'll see the desert and enjoy new terrain." Just knowing I have a friend like this makes me take note. I shouldn't have to have company coming to make me look for the good, though. There is beauty in the dry places. And yes, beauty in the dry places of life. We just have to be looking...even when there's no occasion."
I've noticed that I have changed. A verse comes to mind from Philippians 4:11,
"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
I am learning to be content. ..in the process of...This land, obviously, wasn't going to change for me. I had to change. I could change for the better or for the bitter. I could harden just like the land. Or I could adapt. I could learn to appreciate the short winter months. I could learn to enjoy the rain more because it is so scarce. I could learn to accept the windy season and change my plans accordingly. I could learn to acknowledge the beauty of the rugged mountains that surround us. I could learn...I could have the grace to change.
Photos from the Desert Gardens