Every day in our life's journey holds its own special treasures, if we have eyes to see...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Treasure and Diversity

In Zion National Park

Sometimes you find treasure in unexpected places. It could be an item in an antique store. Perhaps it's an old letter tucked away in the pages of a book. Or maybe, when you least expect it, the end of a winding and isolated road ushers you in to splendor. Such is the road into Zion National Park, Utah. You round a bend and plunge into grandeur on a scale so huge that it shrinks you to the size of an ant.

We just completed a 5700-mile road trip and found treasure on every side. Every so often we'd stop at some amazing place: Mesa Verde, CO, with its ancient cliff dwellings, the aforementioned Zion--tunnel, river, rock formations--and Yosemite, where El Capitan and Bridal Veil Falls dominate among granite outcroppings of gargantuan proportions.

It strikes me that people are much like Zion national Park. From a distance, they may appear commonplace, their personality unknown, their character obscure. But take the time, make the journey of discovery, and before our eyes the treasure that they are comes to light. 
Missouri Summer

And the diversity! Missouri was lush and green as we drove off one early morning. Full-fledged summer was upon the land, and all the trees waved their brightest leaves over long-grass fields that dipped and rolled like an inland ocean. By nightfall, we had reached deep into the Colorado mountains. Here the air was crisp and dry, and apsen and pine hugged the slopes.

Cliff Palace-Mesa Verde, CO

The next day, we found Mesa Verde baking in the sun, cactus flowers like orange and red splashes against the red soil, cliff dwellings perching in shaded alcoves waited for the relief of sunset, as they have for more than 800 years.

Giant Coastal Redwoods, Northern CA

What a contrast to the mist-shrouded giants in the Humbolt Redwoods . Centuries of stillness seem embodied there, fern and frond and fallen trunks two and three hundred feet in length slowed the march of time as we wandered for an afternoon. Ocean waves wet and wild, Arizona desert with its arid beauty, the very grand Grand Canyon--each so different yet so completely right.

I'm pondering this same diversity in people. Each one so different, yet there is not one "right" way. Never, no matter how hard we try, could we create a redwood forest in painted desert, nor wind surf on the high mesas of the ancient cliffdwellers. But we can enjoy the unique aspects of each.

Why then, is it so difficult at times, to let people--as diverse as Missouri is from Arizona--be themselves, and enjoy how they are different? Hmmm. I want to remember this the next time I'm tempted to expect others to think and respond exactly the way I would. 
Treasure and diversity. Even, perhaps, treasure in diversity!

Diversity--Grand Canyon, AZ