So there I was, atop a mountain in the Nevada High Desert, near Walker River. I had climbed up there just a few minutes before, and just as soon as I got there, I was in wonder.
Most seem to think that the desert is a dry, barren place devoid of life and beauty of any sort, besides dead plants that dotted the hills. As I looked across the vast expanse of sand and rocks below me, I realized this was not true. My surroundings were, as many people like to think, quite dry and sandy, but still, when looked at with more depth than an assumption, quite alive as well.
The scrub bushes, leafed and thorned alike, all swayed in the wind as if they were not brittle, but instead, alive. There was still a dark green tint of color about them as well. If I listened, birds sung just as much as in a more vegetated area, and I could hear the hum of flies and bees as they went about on their business. I could feel the wind tousle my hair, a nice, calming feeling.
So there was life, I just had to look for it, I thought.
I sighed as I began to climb down the mountain, for I had experienced something great. A deep silence seemed to ensue, for the wind had stopped. The only sound was the faint gurgling of Walker River in the distance. When I reached the foot of the hill, my father called me for supper.
That night, as my family and I sat around a campfire, warming our hands, I decided to look beyond the light of the fire. I looked first towards the mountain I had scaled earlier that day, and then up at the sky.
What I saw astounded me.
Stars, millions upon millions of them dotted the dark atmosphere above me. They seemed clearer and twinkled with more light than I had ever seen in stars near a town or city before. To put it simply, there were more stars here in an unpopulated area than anywhere else I had ever been. I spotted the Big Dipper on the right, Orion’s Belt on the left, and everywhere else some sort of constellation seemed to appear.
The next day I went for a walk along the bank of Walker River. To my surprise, lizards began popping up every few minutes. There were animals in the desert then, too, I thought.
Later that day a snake crossed my path. It was a gopher snake, about four feet long. Then again, a couple minutes later, I saw a smaller gopher snake. And then again, another one, however this one was a corn snake.
Even nature’s desert is beautiful. Walker River is one of my favorite places to go, and if I could, I would protect it from construction. It is simply that beautiful. The thing is, I can protect it. I am working on that now.
Who will help me protect Earth from destruction? I will, and there is no changing that.