“The man in black fled acrossed the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” The opening line from Stephen King’s The Gunslinger. I love it.

During those first pages of the story as the hero pursues the antagonist through the desert, King writes in detail about how the Gunslinger is well trained to handle such harsh conditions. These passages ring true. There is wisdom we might each apply to our lives, to live better, to cope, to persevere, to cross the desert.

There are times of plenty and times of want, of struggle, of hardship: we want more money, more recognition, more love, more rest, more sweets. It’s like walking through a desert place, in some ways. Little shelter, not much water, difficulty, harsh circumstances. But as in the desert, life CAN survive. Some plants and animals even thrive in such barren places. They’ve adapted.

It’s possible to cross through desert places for those accustom to more accommodating and moderate conditions (the majority of us). To do so, we have to be thoughtful, patient, and prepared.

That’s a good life lesson too. There are metaphorical desert places we all encounter during our lives. How do we get through it?

The same: Be thoughtful and patient. Live a life that allows you to prepare yourself for hardship. You often can’t pick when such circumstance will befell you; but you can pick whether you’ll be prepared.

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