There’s a reason why a cactus has spines. Cacti live and thrive in deserts, one of the harshest classes of biome on the face of the Earth, surrounded by creatures that have adapted to survive those conditions. Their spines not only help dissuade other life forms from eating them but also dramatically increase a cactus’s surface area and allow them to better absorb water from infrequent rains. Without their spines, cacti are vulnerable and unable to get what sustains them.
On my recent trip to Nevada, I saw a cactus for the first time in person and have realized that I, too, must grow spines. Not because I am aggressive or vicious or prone to base impulses, but precisely BECAUSE I am vulnerable, BECAUSE I am kind, BECAUSE I need to have tools that can get me what I need to sustain myself. And that’s exactly what this particular period of my life is about.