1 day ago
DAY 60/365 To most of us, a cactus represents a pokey, spiny thing to be avoided. I come across them all the time while hiking and if you’ve ever pulled one of those needles out of your toe or finger you know that’s not bad advice at all. Be careful around them! But a cactus is also a thing to be admired. If you look past the harsh exterior, you often find a fleshy, soft plant that’s full of life on the inside. It’s strong, capable of going weeks and weeks without water. Its growth can be extremely slow, but its nearly un-killable once established. Its defense is strong, its systems efficient, its beauty really unsung. From the tallest saguaro to the tiniest little frailea, they steadily grow every year; then they multiply and thrive even through the harshest conditions. I think the very best relationships are like those cacti. Relationships need to develop a strong defense against those forces that would do them harm. They need to deter jealousy, envy, selfishness, and other temptations that surely come when we ourselves are just struggling to survive in our daily desert. On the inside, though, they need to be filled with nutrients to give them life: sharing, kindness, selflessness, trust, laughter, fun, honesty, and safety. The very vest relationships store up that water and can survive week after week in the driest and hottest conditions. I was reminded of this over the weekend in Moab. I had to get away for a quick trip to do some unexpected book research, so @kwairmet and I made a fast dash down there. We went for a run on Saturday morning and saw plenty of cactus along the trail. I snapped this quick pic and loved thinking about how different each plant is, and how a colony seems to sprout up around it. How strong these little guys are. How maligned their reputation can become when really they’re some of the toughest flora out there. How much I want the relationships in my life to be just like that cactus: fiercely protected, tremendously resilient, and forever growing and multiplying.