Saturday, October 20, 2012

No Water in White Sands

How do animals, insects, and snakes survive in White Sands National Monument, New Mexico, USA with no water? I never thought about it until our recent visit there.

We intruded in the home of the foxes and rodents. We trudged through deep granules more like salt than sand. We read the signs provided by our rangers and nature guides that offered insights into God's White Sands world.

When tourists enter the park, the first sign tells them there's no water past that point. After I read that, my throat felt dry. My husband and I climbed the first available path over a tall dune. A fox picture on a sign thrust us into his world. One of the guide signs informed us that since there was no lakes or rivers or water of any kind, the animals lived on the blood of other animals. That thought is gross, but imagine how God provided for his smallest creatures even there.

Our feet sunk. Signs warned us not to venture off the marked path or attempt to tunnel through the sand. The fluent texture sifted through our hands like table salt, and crumpled with the slightest pressure.

About a mile into our hike, we spotted Cottonwood trees. Their branches lay on the flowing gypsum dunes without the tall trunk that reaches to the sky in Texas. We found another sign that told us that in truth, water did lay three feet below us. In that waterless world, where animals and insects lived without water, the cottonwood had stretched its roots underground until they found the hidden supply. With their roots in water, they grew toward the sun until their top branches draped across our white path. By reaching for water, they grew like a mighty bush for all to see.

In that forlorn land, God spoke to me. How many times have I walked through depression or grief. I could see no water, no life, no sun. I endeavored to tough it out in a dark, empty land through the only way I saw available. Yet, God is there, only three feet away all the time. If I stretch my spirit to touch His Spirit, I, like the cottonwoods in White Sands, could reach for the sunshine and more quickly thrive through God's taste of water.

Here's a map I found online to show where in New Mexico, the White Sands National Monument is. It's near Alamagordo in central New Mexico between three major mountain peaks.

By the way, when we left the park, the fist thing I did was to stop at the gift shop and buy a bottle of water. I never enjoyed water more than then.

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