Often I stop and think about the Biblical parable that speaks of building ones house upon the sand, how it will not stand because the sand is not a solid foundation. I think of how this applies to my personal life; how the sand represents the numerous poor choices I’ve made; no solid footing to walk, barren and unable to support growth; constant heat bearing down from above, cold to the core in the dead of night.
Like the plague, people avoid the desert. There’s no beauty to admire, nothing to see but a few tumble weeds; pure isolation, solitude. There’s no ocean here, no seagulls to sing, no light breeze to whisk you away, no waves to catch, no vacation. Only death is here; struggle and pain; false hopes and faded dreams; mirages that look like water and life, but unreachable and unattainable.
But look closer, for it is there that you will find me. Not the rose that grew from concrete, but a cactus among instability, rooted in sand and surviving what seems impossible odds. I am not gorgeous. I am thorny for a reason; to resist that which seeks to destroy me, my rough life on full display.
I stand tall. Head held high lifting my hands to my creator. You look at me and think, how do you maintain such a will to live among the desolation that surrounds you? Why don’t you just lie down and die? You’ve nothing to live for. You have no chance.
Truth is I was born of this environment. I’ve survived here many years, and my ancestors before me. I am the exceptional exception; the cactus that grew from sand and always has, surviving on very little, shunned as the least of all, not desirable or worth saving.
But you can keep your beaches and sandcastles, your abundance of water, light breezes and gentle sun kisses. I may not have your seashell adornments or visitors en mass. I do not know the pleasantries of an illustrious life, or the comforts of a modest.
But yet, I live.
I cannot hide the spikes of life’s uncertainties, unfairness and outright rejection, yet I stand firm on the principle you call sand, I call home. This is not a solid foundation, but given the circumstances, my survival here has conditioned me for blessings abundant.
I am the cactus that grew from sand, resilient and steadfast. I am something, from seemingly nothing. I withstand your neglect, and stand with those whose burden seems heavy, yet they live and continue on.
I am the cactus; life where there is death, hope where there is hopelessness, protector of all that depend on me. I yet stand, head held high, hands lifted to my creator who sustains and strengthens me.