The road ends, but the journey continues...

Giving Voice: Lessons from the Desert

Desert Tortoise

“If the (desert tortoise) survives it will not be because of its capacity to survive, but our capacity to care.”

Terry Tempest Williams, Red: Passion & Patience in the desert
syrian refugees and COVID

“It’s no longer about survival of the fittest, but survival of compassion.”

Terry Tempest Williams, Red: Passion & Patience in the desert

Photos: Desert Tortoise, Syrian Refugees & COVID-19


  1. Jennie

    A very moving post, Laura. The desert tortoise is a beautiful animal. Who wouldn’t want to help and preserve this animal? It boggles my mind.

    • laura bruno lilly

      We are our brother’s (animal or human) keeper…

      • Jennie

        Yes, we are.

  2. Annika Perry

    Laura, a moving post with two great quotes and images. The plight of all refugees touches me deeply and I cannot understand anyone who fails to feel compassion and empathy for them. Their situation was overwhelming before this year, nigh unbearable and impossible these days. My heart goes out to them … and I’m in awe of all who work with them to try and find help. Just wish our governments would not renege on offers and commitments of promised aid, resettlement etc.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yes, we share the same passion for those displaced for any reason…thank you for sharing your heart here, Annika.

  3. cedar51

    pathways of both humans and animals – don’t always go to plan.

    I remember reading about the migratory birds that come to New Zealand and the fly all the way back to some place in ?Russia – there stop over point is in Asia some place and suddenly those wetlands were reclaimed for housing…I know they probably have survived but what of how many didn’t

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yes, this is common throughout the world πŸ™
      …also shows how the natural world knows no boundaries.

  4. Ally Bean

    I care, but how to manifest that in a useful way is the challenge. Great quotes.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Perhaps your caring is manifested without you even being aware of it in other areas where you live. Might not be the Desert Tortoise or the Syrian Refugees, but being aware of their plight helps us to see similar situations elsewhere and causes us to offer that smile, $2bucks and extra bottle of hand sanitizer to someone in need on the street or just a donation at the local food bank. I’m sure you’re doing more than you realize…
      Ms Bean, you have a great week!

  5. Andy

    Let’s put the passion into compassion.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Always the wordsmith, that you are Andy.

      • Andy


  6. Jane's Heartsong

    That is a beautiful tortoise. I am grateful for the good people like Cheryl who step in to help when help is needed. Thought-provoking quotes.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yes, the colors & design on the carapace are so distinctive. As for the quotes, sometimes nature speaks wisdom through poets!

  7. Janis @

    Great quotes! Care, empathy, and compassion can be hard to find in some places these days.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Too true. But I think there’s more caring & empathy out there behind the scenes in our everyday lives that help get us through the blatantly cruel actions of others. Sort of an underground network of kindness.

      • Janis @

        Yes! That’s why I added “in some places” to my comment before hitting go. I love the visual of “an underground network of kindness.” πŸ™‚

        • laura bruno lilly

          Yep, we’re agreed!
          How’s SD faring in the scheme of CA wildfires?

  8. marissthequilter

    Thought provoking quotations that have got me thinking about the evolution of human consciousness. Is it possible that this could ever be as strong as biological evolution? Rhetorical question.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I’m pleased these quotes piqued your ponderings…
      In light of our country’s volatile state, I could be cynical and say human consciousness has de-volved…but I am ever the optimist! However, to be clear, I dub myself a Realistic Optimist.


    Laura, great quotes and photos! Thank you for posting information about preserving the desert tortoise, a magnificent animal!

    The gopher tortoise habitat in the preserve near us is wooded, but the tortoises like to sun in sandy clearings. They have long-established paths which unfortunately are now crossed by roads. When you see cars backed up in these places, it usually means they are waiting for a tortoise to cross! I once found a gopher tortoise that had been hit and was lying on its back in the middle of the road. I turned it over, and it continued on its way. I couldn’t believe how heavy it was for its size!

    All the best! Cheryl

    • laura bruno lilly

      Oh Cheryl, what a glorious story! We do what we can and it’s especially rewarding when we can see an instant positive result of our actions, isn’t it?

  10. L. Marie

    Beautifully put, Laura! Amen! Great quotes!
    β€œIf the (desert tortoise) survives it will not be because of its capacity to survive, but our capacity to care.”

    • laura bruno lilly

      I’m glad they touched your heart, L.Marie.

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