the strongest principle of growth lies in the human choice. – george eliot

Painted Desert, Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona.

Painted Desert, Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona.

when i was little

my neighbor

went with his family

to visit

the painted desert

far away


the exotic land of


i was so excited for him

and a little bit jealous


i ran to his car

when i saw them

return home

as they

pulled in the driveway

he jumped out


‘i have the best souvenir in the world!!!’


it was

beyond my expectations

a miniature version

of this stunning desert

all under glass

 in one place

i had

never seen

anything like it

there must have been

at least

a bijillion

or more

grains of sand

of all colors

and i was in awe

of its beauty

it felt like

i had gone there too

kind of

and then

we had an idea

it was brilliant

‘let’s shake it up all together and see how pretty it is

and then we can sort it out again,

into all of the layers and colors.’

 the first part of that idea worked

 the second part

the part where we sorted it all back out

didn’t go quite as well

and we looked at it

and each other


what happened


how the sand

could shift

so quickly

never to be

the same again.

experience is simply the name we give our mistakes. – oscar wilde

image credits: googleimages, nationalparkservice


46 responses »

  1. Yes, I agree. Your excitement shows front an center, but kids will be kids. Curiosity is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? 😀 😀 Too bad the sand didn’t know it was supposed to go back to the way it was. It certainly was happy to get mixed up. 😛

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love this and feel very lucky to live in the exotic land of Arizona – the shifting of sand and the brilliance of colors all those grains can make. A great childhood story!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome Beth – the Painted Desert (the first time i saw it was so surreal) and the lesson of the shifting sands. I too have learned by my mistakes. Or as Edison said when questioned by an interviewer about the 1,000 failures he burnt before discovering the light bulb, his response was: ” I didn’t fail 1000 times, I found a 1000 ways it didn’t work.” Ha!

    When i was the regional Director of Safety for a gas tanker company i had one driver – Rej (short for Rejean) – who was amazing, He was laid back, never hurried, could get more accomplished in one day than any other driver, never made mistakes and an awesome attitude. One day he accomplished another amazing feat and i asked him with awe how he managed to work so efficiently. His response was classic Rej: “Oh, it’s easy. First you do it all the ways that it doesn’t work, then what is left is the best way.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thankyou for taking me back to my youth Beth… lovely to remember… and be reminded of our choice, so important to us especially right now. How so wise George Elliot was… (and IAM proud to have her as part of my ancestral family… great great great… maybe more aunt… Barbara x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. LOL! I, too, had a neighbor when I was a kid, and that neighbor was an old woman who had a jar of the Painted Desert on her shelves, and I always wanted to play with it but she never let me. I guess with age comes wisdom and she knew what would happen. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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