Somewhere it hides

Drew photographs the eerily beautiful Carcross Desert, Yukon, Canada, June 2000

Drew photographs the eerily beautiful Carcross Desert, Yukon, Canada, June 2000

“What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.”
— Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Tucked away in the chilly magnificence of the Yukon, there lies a true curiosity of nature: the Carcross Desert.  At about one square mile, it is called the “world’s smallest desert” although it is actually a series of sand dunes left behind by a glacial lake.  In this case, it could be said that it was the well that hid the desert!

It’s quite an experience to traverse the Alaska border where snow lies all around, into the Yukon where there is more of the same, only to come upon an expanse of warm, dry sand with scarcely any vegetation.  It’s one of nature’s little surprises; a reminder that even the most forbidding of landscapes conceal delightful secrets.  When you find yourself in the midst of a boring, unpleasent or difficult circumstance, remember that “somewhere it hides a well.”

Seven years ago today it was the day before Easter. Because my posts for Easter weekend were themed to coincide with that holiday, I am holding them for Easter weekend this year, and using the posts of those days, April 10-12, for yesterday, today and Sunday. So this is the post originally published on April 11, 2013, and on April 11 of this year I’ll post the March 30, 2013 post. As usual, the original post and comments will be linked below under related posts.


  1. Judy from Pennsylvania

    As we all are living in a frozen life of confinement now due to the COVID 19 pandemic, today’s blog post from your archives seems especially appropriate. We need to keep our hearts open because “even the most foreboding of landscapes conceal delightful secrets.” What is the goodness that is a warm area amidst our chilling experiences during all of this?

    For me, one goodness is that a young family nearby has volunteered to get medicines and groceries for Stew and me this week. In return, we’re giving them some seedling tomatoes we started in our living room window. Now their young children can enjoy watching tomatoes grow. We’re developing a warm friendship (but at safe physical distances) with this family that we didn’t have before.

    I hope that you’re finding bits of warmth and goodness in your days. Spring flowers, budding trees, birdsongs — these come to mind. I know you love nature’s gifts. I’ve seen Virginia in the springtime and it’s gorgeous.

    PS – I saw your reply to my comments on an earlier post. Maybe it got put in the junk mail because I used a different email address? I can’t remember which one I use for posting here. Glad I checked back!

    • Hi Judy, this comment came through with no problem, so hopefully we’ll get them from now on. Your quote from my post made me realize that I used the wrong word seven years ago, and didn’t even catch it which I read through the post again before re-publishing it this week. Instead of “foreboding” I meant to say “forbidding.” I went back and corrected my error. 😀 What a lovely story about your friendship with the young family. I hope many such “silver linings” become apparent to us later. For me, the most immediate bright spot in all this has been the opportunity to be with Matt 24/7, which is rare in recent years. I am wondering how your Amish friends are being affected by the virus? Certainly they will have less problem than we might with some aspects of the shutdown, but in other ways I think it would be very difficult for them to be distanced from each other. The springtime is indeed a wonderful gift to us right now. I can’t remember ever enjoying my walks more than I have the past couple of weeks. The birds sing to us in the daytime and the tree frogs– which sound amazingly like birds sometimes– serenade us at night. 🙂 Take care and give my best to Stew.

  2. Bobby Harris

    How totally appropriate for the time we are experiencing.

    • Bobby, let’s hope and pray that there are many wells out there, waiting to be discovered. We’re all thirsty for them, I think.

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