Beginning to Blossom – A Lesson from the Desert

Barely Blooming - Ocotillo in the Sonoran Desert

Barely Blooming – Ocotillo in the Sonoran Desert © 2014 Bo Mackison

Usually, when the distractions of daily life deplete our energy, the first thing we eliminate is the thing we need the most: quiet, reflective time. Time to dream, time to contemplate what’s working and what’s not, so that we can make changes for the better. ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

I go to the desert. Walking in the canyon, deeper into the wilderness, away from the few others who are also roaming the desert. I sit on a rock outcropping, settle into the earth. Before I take photographs, I take the time to contemplate my surroundings. It is winter in the desert, there is little color in the desert. Only a few blossoms, the earliest flowers, add a touch of color to a world of muted greens and grays. The time of first awakenings. It is during this time of contemplation that I discover not only the essence of place, but also my place.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Great thoughts

  2. And you do that beautifully, Bo. We could all take a lesson from your desert ramblings and meditations, which I do now daily through my Desert Wisdom Cards. I admire your sitting and taking in everything before beginning to take photos. For me, it’s the beach (for obvious reasons). When I make it for sunrises I begin shooting immediately because the light changes so rapidly and I want to catch every nuance. Sometimes it’s good; sometimes I should have waited. Thanks for making me think about that differently.

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