Wonder and Learning

What part of you, your experiences, or your background explain you and your fit in the community?

I have been pricked a thousand times by them. They always get stuck in the bottom of my favorite running shoes and I can count the scars I have from brushing up against them. Growing up in Arizona, I cannot remember ever having a lack of cacti.When my cross country team ran desert trails, I recall having to skip and stretch like I was playing hopscotch because of the chollas littering the ground. Rows of them wave at you from the sides of the highway and make homes in your front and back yard.

Besides the constant sight of saguaros and feeling their thorns all through my childhood, I never really knew much about cacti or felt astonished by them until I went on a hike that deepened my sense of wonder. During an evening hike with some of my friends, I remember coming around the side of a switchback to see a saguaro standing against the sunset and staring at it with a novel view. The sight of the cactus would usually be somewhat boring to me, just another prickly plant to avoid, but that day it stuck in my gaze and I started to think of it in a way I had not ever before. My eyes scanned the saguaro and instead of its thorns pricking my skin, they pierced my thoughts. I wondered why the thorns were formed how they were. I realized...

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