wind in cactus spines
On my thirty-first birthday, at a difficult point in my life, I set off extra early (because the desert still bakes the shade over one-hundred degrees in September) for a hike. I had the trail to myself, a bonus gratefully received, for I was seeking clarity and a bit of a reset, though I wouldn’t have termed it that at the time. Along the way I stopped to rest. A light breeze picked up and as I enjoyed the evaporative cooling of my sweat, I found myself tuning in to the sound of the wind in the spines of the saguaro next to me. I was surprised to discover it sounded similar to that of wind in the pines, but different. I stayed, glued to the sound longer than my legs needed—eavesdropping on the conversation.
It was a quiet, private moment, but they graciously allowed for my open curiosity and I absorbed the sound until the breeze uttered its final word, departing for parts unknown.
I tucked the experience in my heart and continued on my way.
... I absorbed the sound until the breeze uttered its final word ...
Over time, the experience would resurface, each time with more insight. It had broadened and deepened and both saguaro and wind had taken on a fuller meaning for me.
A few months ago, I was working an event held at Pueblo Grande Museum when I came across a pair of earrings being sold by the grandfather of a young Tohono O’odham woman. I picked them up and started to cry, for they reminded me of this moment and the wisdom that was imparted. Had I tried to design a visual that fit the experience perfectly, I could not have. But somehow, she did—and I’m so very grateful.
It is so fascinating and amazing how life loops back around in widening circles of beautiful unfolding insight.
As always, thank you for reading.