Last week I had the opportunity to visit Death Valley National Park, which is in the midst of what is called a ‘superbloom’. The massive rains of El Nino sparked an intense blossoming of dozens of desert flowers and plants.
Usually Death Valley is barren. Temperatures can range up to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. People die there every year, and the park is littered with signs about safety precautions, keeping hydrated and basic survival. Large swaths of the park look like another planet, desolate, sun-scorched and windswept. It usually does not look like anything could live there.
So, it was a lot to take in when I got there. Even though it was past peak, desert gold flowers still bloomed across much of the valley creating a thin golden patina over the desert. Upon closer inspection there were dozens of other plants with tiny, beautiful blooms opening wide for their brief life. Signs of life abounded: a caterpillar on a stalk, a ladybug nearby, sweat bees on a desert bush, raptors and ravens overhead, a burro herd, and hoofprints of the elusive big-horned sheep.
The blooming desert struck me as a perfect metaphor for the resilience of the human spirit. It is possible to go from the scorched earth condition of trauma to rainbows of flowers. It is inevitable.
Even when it feels like we have nothing left, there is never nothing there. There are always seeds. Seeds of happiness, seeds of love, seeds of passion, seeds of creativity, of joy, connection, of LIFE. The seeds are always there. And those seeds bloom. Every once in a while. When the conditions are right.