Photo and Commentary ©2020 by Cheryl Boardman
Monday, May 18, 2020

The second weekend of May this year, I went to look for a hedgehog cactus. I had read about a place where these cacti were prolific and sure enough, I found a lot of them. They were at the end stage of their blooming but I did find two or three which still had a blossom or two.

They grow on the Columbia Plateau in Central Washington. Technically, this is not a desert but a shrub-steppe environment. It is, however, very dry!

There were actually a lot of flowers in bloom (and a lot of varieties) but my favorites were the bitterroot. For such beautiful, delicate flowers, they grow in the most inhospitable, dry and rocky ground.

With such a huge change in our way of life in the last couple of months due to COVID-19, here is something to look forward to. These Bible verses talk about what it will be like when Jesus comes back for us:

The desert and dry land will become happy;
the desert will be glad and will produce flowers.
Like a flower, it will have many blooms.
It will show its happiness, as if it were shouting with joy.
It will be beautiful like the forest of Lebanon,
as beautiful as the hill of Carmel and the Plain of Sharon.
Everyone will see the glory of the LORD
and the splendor of our God.
Make the weak hands strong
and the weak knees steady.
Say to people who are frightened,
“Be strong. Don’t be afraid.
Look, your God will come,
and he will punish your enemies.
He will make them pay for the wrongs they did,
but he will save you.”
Then the blind people will see again,
and the deaf will hear
Crippled people will jump like deer,
and those who can’t talk now will shout with joy.
Water will flow in the desert,
and streams will flow in the dry land.
The burning desert will have pools of water,
and the dry ground will have springs.
Where wild dogs once lived,
grass and water plants will grow.
A road will be there;
this highway will be called “The Road to Being Holy.”
Evil people will not be allowed to walk on that road;
only good people will walk on it.
No fools will go on it.
No lions will be there,
nor will dangerous animals be on that road.
They will not be found there.
That road will be for the people God saves;
the people the LORD has freed will return there.
They will enter Jerusalem with joy,
and their happiness will last forever.
Their gladness and joy will fill them completely,
and sorrow and sadness will go far away.
Isaiah 35:1-10 (NCV)