I was climbing a high red-rock column in northern Arizona when I noticed a small scrub brush that had found a home in a crack in the rock. Always amazed at the tenacity of life, I went to look. In its center held up by the branches was a little stone. Perhaps a strong wind gust had picked it up and left it there. I wondered how it was for that little plant to bear that weight. So thinking, I gently picked up the pebble and cast it away, and continued my journey.
Near the top of my climb I found another, larger bush growing in the rock face. I looked, and there suspended in this network of branches were not one, but two much larger stones. Surely they could not have been blown by wind in the same manner, nor thrown by any hiker. What was going on? Why were there rocks suspended in these bushes?
In the beauty of the desert, things sometimes stand out in bold relief. A person sees things.
It came to me then. These bushes, which began as any other plant with the tenderest of shoots, clinging to a bit of sand in a crevice. They were pushing through and seeking light. They had to strike roots down, but also grow a network of branches above. Coming from below, those branches must have actually lifted and carried the rocks above then as they grew. The bushes must be lifting the ancient stones into the air.
I remembered then: What is considered weak in the world are often sources of great strength. Small things add up. Grass breaks concrete. Water smooths stone. And in the desert, little bushes lift rocks.
All creation shouts it. There is a power in small but persistent actions of love.
Thursday, March 5, 2009 copyright 2014