While we were in Arizona for Carl’s funeral, we went to the White Tank Mountains. At the base of the mountains and right behind the local library there is a short and long hiking trail, through the desert landscape. As we walked the longer trail, one of the kids pointed out that they could see the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, which is where the super bowl will be played this year. As I took in the view of the surrounding cities from the base of the White Tank Mountains, I was amazed by how far you could see. Besides the surrounding cities, you could see the desert landscape for several miles. It was very open. The tallest plants around were the tall cactus, no large trees like we have in Northern Illinois. Our view was blocked only by the mountains.
As I stood in the desert landscape, I found myself missing the tall trees of Northern Illinois. Even though I was missing the large, tall trees of the Midwest, I found beauty in God’s creation of the desert. I relished in the beauty of the desert flowers and the variety of cacti. It is amazing how these plants can live with very little water. The tall cactus provides homes for birds. There was one cactus that was super tall, I was amazed by its size (see our family picture). It was the largest cactus we encountered on our walk.
I was grateful that we had an afternoon free to spend time walking through God’s beautiful creation. It was nice to have sunshine and warm enough weather to take a hike. It was a good mental health break for my family in the midst of a crazy busy long weekend in Arizona. I give God thanks for creation and for the time to spend outside exploring the desert. I pray that you all can find the time and place that will bring you peace in the midst of the craziness of life. We all need a little peace in our lives.
God’s Peace, Pastor Katrina Steingraeber