Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Cutting Edge of History

The Desert Queen Ranch, aka Key's Ranch, Joshua Tree National Park

I've been doing quite a lot of research lately on the early history of my area. 

I love history. When Nicole, the owner of the Cactus Mart, our local plant nursery, cum art gallery, cum hardware store asked me if I wanted to write a couple of paragraphs on our local history for her shop newsletter each month I jumped at the chance.

As I was delving through any old literature I could find on the area it occurred to me that while I was fascinated with the past, with the struggles these early miners, prospectors and settlers dealt with,  they were actually on the cutting edge of progress!  They were on their game.  They had hopes and dreams of striking it rich with their mines and being able to create lives for themselves and their families far better than what they had left behind. 

In this area, close to Joshua Tree National Park, the heat is intense during the summers, flash floods occur without warning any time and natural water sources are few and far between.  It's a tough place to live without air conditioning, a good well, and trucks constantly delivering food to the local stores and restaurants.

The windmill and the well at the Desert Queen Ranch -very innovative for the time

As I glance around my comfortable home, my new lap top in front of me and a cup of freshly brewed coffee at hand there is no inner drive in me to conquer new horizons.  I very much doubt I will be mentioned in future history books as a pioneer in my field (though it could happen I suppose).

I am their future looking back into the past; they are the past with their eyes on the future. I think their lives may just be a little more exciting than mine.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

It IS What You Look at that Counts

Recently I saw the beginnings of what could turn out to be a fabulous sunset. I scooped up my camera and bolted outside in anticipation.  I took a few shots as the intensity of the colors increased but this sunset was over fairly quickly so I retired back inside to look at my images.

Interesting. All these pictures were taken within minutes of each other, and they certainly aren't the greatest pictures I've ever taken, but the message is there just the same: I could put my attention on the fabulous sunset ...

Or I could be drawn in by the distractions, in this case very pretty distractions, and miss my sunset....

However, another option would be just to focus on the light beyond the distractions.

That was just the reminder I needed.  A great metaphor for life for me.  If I keep my eyes on the goal, and not look at the distractions I will have success in my endeavors.

Now this is the way I want to start my new year.