Monday, April 4, 2016
In the desert of Southern Arizona, I look out over an ocean. Waves of majestic saguaro cacti, standing in the hot desert sun. One catches my attention. This one is taller than the others, and has a lot more arms. He’s been alive for probably around 200 years. Day after lonely day he stands there among his brethren, proud and tall. He’s been through a lot – his gnarled, twisted arms, and ever browning stalk indicate how much. But he’s resilient. He’s survived freezes, possibly fires, and wind. He grew up surrounded by the Navajo tribe, having never seen a white person until he was 20 years old. He was my height as he watched armed men leave their homes to go fight the Confederates during the Civil War. He was well over a century old when we entered World War II, and 150 by the time Grandpa was born. He’s reaching the end of his life now, and I wonder if he’s tired of it. He’s watched fads come and go, seen how fast things change, and yet he hasn’t changed. That’s what I like about him and his brothers. He doesn't care about who’s our next president, what celebrities are doing, or the newest, coolest technology. He just stands there, gazing day after day over the Saguaro Sea. Old man, I respect you.