Sometimes, I need to be reminded that life isn’t just the huge and sometimes overwhelming things, as it has felt the last few weeks. Life is also details, like this image. It could be a view of something under a microscope or a close up of a lace pattern but it’s actually salt dried over time on the flats at Badwater Basin here in Death Valley.
As I walked the half mile out to the end of the Badwater Basin trail, I heard a lot of different languages and thought about how all of us — different words, different countries, different lives — shared common ground, enjoying the sun, the views, and the day itself.
As I walked along, I decided to offer to take photos of couples and groups struggling to capture themselves against the broad background and harsh sunlight. I met a half dozen members of a Russian family, a few Germans from a bus tour, a small group of Oklahomans speaking Vietnamese, a Londoner on a day trip from Vegas, and a SoCal couple on a getaway. Each interaction took just a minute, but they made my day. I felt more connected to the world as I got in my car and drove away.
The world might feel fractured to me right now, with all the post-election discussion and rhetoric. I need to remember to look at the details in the panorama and the individuals in the crowds and see the small beauty hidden in that chaos.
I have so much chaos in my life, it’s become normal. You become used to it. You have to just relax, calm down, take a deep breath and try to see how you can make things work rather than complain about how they’re wrong.