It was just a few years ago that I really fell in love with the desert. I was looking for places to test out some new camping gear, and, of course, my dad preferred that I not get too far out of “rescue” range. So, I made the short trip, my first, to the Anza Borrego desert.

It was springtime and the tail-end of one of its famous super-blooms. While hiking into Hellhole Canyon (that’s its actual name), I was completely startled and in awe of the wild things growing in what I’d expected to be a dry valley of sand and rock. From the tiniest yellow flowers blanketing the sand, to towering ocotillo and giant yucca in bloom, with even a palm oasis standing guard over what little water remained from winter, every new vista held new, unanticipated wonders.

The desert in bloom seems like its own resurrection miracle. Neither the dead of summer nor winter would betray what is waiting there under the surface—the capacity of this landscape to explode with vibrancy and life. It helps me to remember that there is ever hope for a new season; that when what we see seems to be dormancy or decay, there may yet be hope lingering somewhere just outside of view.

It is this kind of hope that I pray we will hold onto and invest in this season. I pray that when we feel weighed down by doubts and fear, that our response will be to begin to plant seeds for the life we hope will come with the turn of the season. This isn’t usually as easy as it sounds, and can take more courage than might be expected. Because, well, hope is a powerful and sometimes scary thing.