Without One Another

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This lava/obsidian field is huge! If you get a chance to visit it, it’s worth the trip to central Oregon. Just outside of Bend, OR, which incidentally has some really great micro-brews, a great river (the Deschutes) for white water rafting and a high desert museum. They have an outrageous number of days with sunshine which, obviously, makes for a different climate from the west side of Oregon where it rains and rains and rains; although it is sunny here today! (I’m getting nothing from the Bend Tourist Bureau for this.)

So what’s the big deal about a bunch of rocks? It’s a huge obsidian flow made up of individual shards. Mile after mile of individual shards. Each shard is really unremarkable but put them all together and you get an awe inspiring landscape made up of billions of individual rocks. Notice too that over time vegetation has come to inhabit the cracks between the rocks.

It’s quite literally a desert. The lessons, as you stand at one of the look out points, are the same as any other desert. Only this one will shred your shoes if you try to walk far on it. We’re not allowed to walk on it anyway, except to get to the look out points. Walking on any particular group of individual rocks will cut the flesh of your feet to ribbons. Life where life is unlikely to grow. A beautiful landscape made up of obsidian. One rock after another. Billions of them. Rugged and inhospitable. Teeming with life, both vegetable and sentient.

Beauty, when looked at as a whole. Like us.

For the past 7 years we have had a woman and her daughter from China living in our home. In order to advance in her work, she had to “join the party.” So, we have a card carrying communist living here. She comes from a “village” of 6+ million souls. I knew nothing about China before she arrived. Now I realize how little I really do know about China and its people. She wants the same things for herself and her daughter as do we; food, clothing, shelter, health, hope, peace….Love! One thing I do know from all of this is that together we make for a beautiful household full of life and respect.

Treading uninformed upon the rocks of cultural ignorance is likely to shred our souls and blind us to the life growing within.

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