A harsh and beautiful place, the Sonoran Desert is home to the saguaro cactus.
It starts its life under the protection and care of a “nurse tree” – typically a mesquite, palo verde, or ironwood. The tree protects the seed (and then the young cactus) from the sun and heat by providing shade and protection from predators that might trample it.
The saguaro grows slowly, sprouting its first “arm” at 75-100 years; its lifespan is more than 150 years. It outlives the nurse tree, sometimes even competing for resources and killing its nurse as it grows.
Tall. Strong. Confident.
It blooms and drops seeds each fall; the nearby trees provide shelter for the next generation.
The relationship between the saguaro and its nurse tree is reminiscent of the client-coach relationship. Except for the part about killing the nurse tree😊
Like the “nurse tree,” the coach’s role is to hold a safe, sacred space where the client can:
- Speak out loud what scares them.
- Explore their dreams and who they are becoming.
- Be challenged and receive nourishment and encouragement.
- Gain confidence and clarity before stepping out into our harsh yet beautiful world.
Saguaros are champions of patience and persistence.
Inch by inch, year by year they grow strong, steady, and confident in the harshest of conditions. They have root systems that go far and wide, seeking out water and soaking it up during the monsoon seasons so that it nourishes them during the hot, dry season.
Despite the fact that they have spikey spines, I find them to be gentle giants.
Weird, I know.
But as an intuitive, empath, and HSP, I feel beyond the outer skin of beings. I feel into the soul of the plants and land. And this land, the Sonoran desert, its native plants, and her native people are gentle, kind, nourishing souls.
I wonder, given y(our) current environment
- How are you underneath your spikey exterior?
- Where do you receive your nourishment?
- And who do you lean on for support?
P.S. Photo credits to Kimberly Giunta who came to hang with me in Tucson for ten days!