Lessons from the Desert…

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Lessons from the Desert…

16:09 14 October in Uncategorised

In 2017, my wife, some dear friends and I visited Joshua Tree National Park. Unlucky for us, we went during a period of extreme temperatures: 45 degrees Celsius and hotter. I was discouraged that such high heat limited our outdoor activities.

After one hot day touring Joshua Tree, I was asking myself, “What’s there to see in a desert?” The heat really made it difficult to appreciate this landscape.

To get a brief respite from the weather, we stopped by the visitor center.

A large exhibit with a physical mock-up of the desert was in the visitor center. While studying the exhibit, I was reminded that I was missing out on a particular experience.

The exhibit mentioned that the desert is teeming with wildlife — if we take the time to see and listen what’s going on:
• The rabbit dashing from rock to rock
• The roadrunner darting across the road
• The lizard soaking up the sun

I was jolted from my negative view of the park. I thought that a lush environment meant a forest with leafy green trees, a babbling brook, and furry animals scurrying all around.

The exhibit reminded me the desert was lush as well. The cues are just more subtle.

For the rest of the trip, I altered my perspective to be more aware of my surroundings despite whatever obstacles came up.

Here’s a picture of Joshua Tree during one sunrise (see above). When we then returned at midnight, we got to see the Milky Way galaxy in full bloom.

The current time is full of challenges. And yet, there are still many lush opportunities if we tune our senses toward them. You also don’t need to hike in 45 degree weather to find them either.

For example:

• Re-connecting with friends over Zoom that you normally don’t talk to unless they were in front of you
• Spending more time to experience our great province: My partner and I did three camping trips this year – more than we did in the last 15 years!
• Realizing to cherish the moments we take for granted such as going to concerts and eating in doors

What opportunities do you see? Can’t see your next opportunities? Let’s set up a chat. No obligation. Just coffee and chat.


Below are some pictures from our exploration of Ontario during the last three months:

White River, Ontario — birthplace of legendary Winnie-the-Pooh!

Trout Lake, Kenora, Ontario

Guitar and the sun at Lake Superior Provincial Park

Millions of seashells make up the beach at McRae Provincial Park

Bracebridge, Ontario

McRae Provincial Park

  • Andrea S. 18:52h, 14 October Reply

    Lovely pictures. I am amazed at how many great views in the ravines we have just here in Toronto.

    • Darrell Cheung 14:59h, 15 October Reply

      Thanks Andrea. Thanks for also pointing out what great views we have locally – just outside our front door. Reminds me that I had to leave Toronto for several years to fully appreciate it.

  • Carol Roach 20:45h, 14 October Reply

    I too have been to the Joshua National Monument back in 1981. It was absolutely beautiful. We camped in the park for 3 days moving from one type of scenery to another and marvelling at the differences of a desert. And yes we saw a lot of wildlife including a road runner running along the road.

    • Darrell Cheung 14:58h, 15 October Reply

      Thanks Carol. I’m glad that I learned my lesson early in the trip to Joshua Tree!

  • Kate Miller 01:07h, 16 October Reply

    Darrell, Thank you for sharing, I have to say, your personal reflection on your journey is lovely and makes life a bit sweeter – no matter the situation we are living in recent months.

    • Darrell Cheung 14:14h, 16 October Reply

      Thanks Kate for your feedback. Keep it coming. Expect more of this in the future.

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