They say if it scratches, bites or stings it lives in the desert. I usually think about it like that when I’m driving through it on the highway. I’m from the mountains, where there’s pine trees and lakes and wildflowers, not cactus, snakes and anything else that bites. Every now and then I get a glimpse of the desert from the other side, from right down inside of it. It’s always so much different than it is when you are just looking at it from the highway. Everyone talks about all of the things that scratch, bite or sting and they forget about the flowers, the wildlife and today butterflies….lots and lots of butterflies! I don’t think I’ve seen that many butterflies since I was a five year old and we lived in Missouri. It was amazing! A spiritual teacher of mine once told me that if you’re paying attention the Universe sends you signs of what’s to come for you. He went on to say that if you know it’s medicine that anything can be a teacher. The plants, the trees and most importantly the animals. It isn’t a coincidence when a certain animal crosses your path, and if you study their medicine you’ll know what messages they bring you. So anytime I see an animal that I don’t normally see a lot, I study their medicine.
The butterfly is a potent symbol for those considering or in the middle of big changes. Butterfly comes to teach us that changes doesn’t have to be traumatic. Butterflies are the symbol not only of change, but of joy, creativity, freedom and color. Well no wonder I’m seeing so many butterflies in the middle of the desert! That message wasn’t just for me though, I was with my Dad, and I know that it was for the both of us. In different ways of course. As I looked at my Dad today I realize how much he’s not the same strong man he used to be. The years have been hard on him, and if you look closely you’ll see the scars he carries with him. The love, the sadness, the traumas and the loss. Somehow sometimes when you look that closely at someone, not in a judgmental way but in a, I want to understand who you are kind of way you’ll find the scars they carry are not much different from your own. They just carried their scars in a different way than you. He’s faced many changes in the last 6 months, from major back surgery that will keep him from ever being as active as he used to be to the loss of his little sister. As always he makes it through to the other side just as determined as he was before and just a little softer around his heart.
The other animal that was out of the ordinary today was a Roadrunner, literally running down the road (if you could call it that) in front of us. Roadrunner medicine tells us that because the Roadrunner is always thinking of ways to get what it wants it reminds us to use the ingenuity of our minds. Roadrunner tells us to “think” our way out of our problems and that we have the mental capabilities to fix or change any situation. This one I know was just for me since I’m the only one who saw him, and if I could master the art of slowing my mind down to one thought at a time I would say that’s great medicine. Even without the messages from the animals, today really was just a beautiful day in the desert. Even though everything in the desert really does have thorns including me by the time I left. There’s still the unexpected surprise when you come around a corner to an oasis where a little stream is running and the trees must be hundreds of years old. Then there’s the surprise you get when you get smacked with a stickery bush because you were concentrating on how pretty the flowers were on some cactus that’s all full of thorns but just as beautiful as a rose. The desert is kind of like life, full of things that are out to scratch, bite or sting us and yet full of so much beauty.