Saturday, February 14, 2009

Water in the Desert

Lately I’ve been reading a book by Craig Childs called The Secret Knowledge of Water. The book is about his experiences searching for water holes in the deserts of Arizona. If you’ve spent even a little time in the deserts of the southwest United States, then you can feel the wonder of finding a stream or a tinaja in a place that is otherwise completely dry.

I remember the first time I walked up Enchanted Rock in the Texas state park. [here’s a link to the picture I’d like here:]. There were dozens of small pools, and in each pool there were fairy shrimp. [link to picture:] I had never seen them before and couldn’t imagine how they got up into each of the small pools scattered around that great stone.

Childs takes the exploration of water holes in the desert to extremes. He walks off into the driest places in our country with only enough water to go out—not enough to come back if he doesn’t find water. That takes faith of a special kind.

One of the things he writes has been running through my mind lately, “The half way point is more important than the destination.” I don’t know if it’s right, but I think it’s an important way to look at life and work. You need to know what your destination is, but after that it may be better not to think all the way through to the end but only to the next step. A lot of things seem impossible if you look at all that must be done to complete them. It doesn’t seem so bad, and not nearly so difficult, if you just think about completing the next step.

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