I never expected to fall in love with deserts. They’d always seemed so barren and inhospitable. Devoid of nurture, warmth and beauty of any kind. How wrong I was.
An anthropologist friend once told of how she’d gone to live with an indigenous group in the Australian desert and how challenging she’d found the experience, until the desert ‘began to sing’ to her, then her whole relationship with the desert was transformed.
That’s how it is with deserts. They have this extraordinary capacity to peel back the layers of fear, disappointment and hopelessness we’ve accumulated, so we can see life in new ways.
Suddenly the landscape that seemed so empty is as alive as you and I, and is achingly beautiful too. The vast skies and wide horizons ease our soul cramp, so we can breathe deeply again. Connect with the earth. Marvel at the dusting of stars strewn across the heavens at night. Every sound, every shadow captivates, allowing us to be more authentic, to come back to our connectedness with all living things.
Deserts help us come home to ourselves, to who we truly are.Deserts help us realise that all space is sacred, including our personal space. Deserts help us to become more familiar with our own inner landscape – with who we are and what we truly need – and what it’s time to let go of.