Beauty in the Barren Places

IMG_4739 Sunrise

Sunrise Over The Badlands

Sometimes beauty shows up in the most unexpected places. Barren, desert like landscapes are strangely beautiful when you really start to look closely at them. When the sun rises over them; they are cast in an amazing glow that makes the land take on an entirely different life.

The world takes on a feel of expectation….a waiting to see what the day will bring….a hush that borders on the feel of standing in a holy place.

As I walked through the crunchy half dead grass of the Badlands of South Dakota; I began to notice that this barren looking land was filled with life……blooms and plants that are fragrant and colorful.

Trees cling tenaciously to life in this land and golden yellow flowers bloom with abandon along the Sage Creek roadway. Perhaps it is the contrast of the lifeless looking grass that elevates the blooms of flowers to something so much more than mere patches of color.

The days can be amazingly hot, with a wind that never seems to quit. As we camped on the rim of the badlands, our pop up camper was buffeted by winds that seemed to want to tip us over the edge. The second night my husband actually chained our camper to our pickup for a little extra safety measure!

20170909_174618 Camping on the Edge

Even with the downside of sudden storms and hot dry winds, this land has much to teach us. It teaches us, at least it teaches me, that beauty can be found in the barren spaces. I have learned that if you look closely you will find an abundance of beauty.

That beauty may not be flashy or showy, but it is abundant. The sage gives off a wonderful aroma if you happen to step on it and the sunrises and sunsets are some of the most beautiful I have seen.

IMG_4237 the Badlands

I am hoping that if you are stuck, waiting in a barren place, that there is one small patch of beauty  to be found. A place for you to rest your heart and feed your soul. May you take delight in a sunrise or sunset….and may it cast a wonderful glow over the barren spaces.

IMG_4732 Day's End

Sunset Over The Badlands



“The desert,
when the sun comes up…
I couldn’t tell where heaven stopped and the Earth began.” 

― Tom Hanks


I cared for you in the wilderness, In the land of drought.
Hosea 13:5

25 thoughts on “Beauty in the Barren Places

    • thechickengrandma says:

      I am so glad you felt like you were along with us. I do think I am going to have to purchase a new camera lens! My mainstay will no longer auto focus….and I am not to good at manual focus. I think the dust of the badlands may have played a part in that. There was no way to keep the dust out of anything. At night it blew against our camper and sounded like it was raining..but it was only dust and gravel.


    • thechickengrandma says:

      Part of my brain kept arguing with another part of my brain lol. It was just very noisy and made the camper shake a lot. I was happy to know we wouldn’t go over the edge!
      I have a feeling it will get to be one of those memories that we laugh about.


  1. Deb says:

    Oh wow Faye…what beautiful scenery! I can see why your husband decided to chain the camper to the truck…good idea. I love where you parked though, how awesome. And the sights all around you are magnificent. It’s amazing that the barrenness really isn’t barren at all…look at all that life you found. You should bring some sage home with you. Both the sunrise and sunset were gorgeous, big round orange sun!! How long are you camping for?


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