One Hike; Two Insights

Echinocereus is a genus of cacti widely distributed across the American Southwest, but this bright scarlet Arizona variety is on the federal list of endangered species. The name Echinocereus is a compound of “Hedgehog” and “Candle.”

Echinocereus cacti are widely distributed across the American Southwest, but this bright scarlet Arizona variety is on the federal endangered-species list. “Echinocereus” is a compound of “Hedgehog” and “Candle.”

ROUNDING the bend along a trail, a small hedgehog cactus in full bloom stopped me in my tracks. A petaled constellation of blossoms, concentric circles of crimson, orange and lemony yellow orbited a center of pink and green.

In a flash of wonder, it hit me: five decades and then some old, and I had never seen such an unfolding. Until now. I watched the sun glimmer through and over the fleshy cups of color, snapped a few photos, and then headed down the trail. It’s not every day we round the bend and come upon cacti in full bloom. Not every day that we can be struck with first-time wonder. So what do we do when there are no blossoming cacti awaiting us around the bend, when there are no new sightings along our path? Insight number one arrived with piercing clarity: Strive to see everyday sights with new eyes.

On the way back, the cactus flowers still glowing in memory, I looked down and saw what I thought was a small egg-shaped piece of quartz. Or maybe it was a jellybean? Its surface had that opaque sugary glimmer, and Easter had been just a day or two before. I picked it up and rolled it in my palm. Too light for quartz. I pressed a thumbnail into its shell, fully expecting the surface to yield in a thin crescent. Instead, it exploded in my hand in a yellow gooey mess. Duh. Small white egg-shaped object? If only I had realized, I might have added this perfect specimen to my collection of half-shell findings. Insight number two: Take care and recognize the simple treasures you hold in the palm of your hand, lest you crush them into oblivion.

Palm of Debra Darvick Hand

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 thoughts on “One Hike; Two Insights

  1. Manny Kalef

    Debra you did it again. This is a great web sight and a beautiful picture of you (you look like a kid). I am very proud that I know you (as limited as it is),and wish you well, now and in the future, in whatever direction life takes you.

    Manny

  2. Debra Post author

    Dear Manny,

    Thank you for your good wishes. So glad you like the new format. As for the photo… my husband took the shot when we were in Utah & Nevada last year. He always makes me look good!

Comments are closed.