Leaving the Desert

I left the desert yesterday. To this. Snow clouds. Not far from home. Two days ago I was walking alone through the desert. This morning I awoke to falling snow and the prospect of having to shovel today. The desert certainly has its advantages!

Aside from the obvious benefit of not having to shovel, was my time in the desert worth it?

At first I was suppressing the question because I wanted to avoid assessing or judging the experience and instead just wanted to accept it for what it was. But last evening, after arriving home and having a wonderful time with my wife, at dinner at Bluebeard and later at home, I couldn’t avoid the obvious answer: the decision to go to the desert was a good one.

I’ll be posting some contemporaneous reflections starting tomorrow — some journal notes from last week, culminating with some final thoughts with a posting a week hence.

For now, suffice it to say that, at least in my experience, the decision to spend some time alone and away, in the desert, separated from my normal daily routine, unconnected entirely from work and career demands (the first time since 1983!), in semi-solitude, meditation, and contemplation, was a good one.

Was it life-changing? That remains to be seen. At the very least, though, it was life-enhancing.

More to come.

Update: After shoveling the walk with my hurting back, I decided this was for the birds and walked the two blocks to Ace Hardware and purchased a snow blower. One alternative was to return to Arizona. The other alternative was to hide in the basement meditating while my wife shoveled the driveway, but thus far I haven’t managed not to feel guilty about such behaviors.

Update 1/13/19: We ended up with 7 inches of snow. Thank god for snow blowers!

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