This is my last full day in the desert. I look forward to returning home tomorrow. But I also look forward to returning to the desert someday, if it seems like the right thing to do at the time.
I took a long walk in the desert today, surrounded by saguaro cacti. It seemed like a fitting way to end my time here. Walking alone, especially in nature, away from the concrete and city sounds, is a good way to eliminate the distractions of an overactive mind. It’s hard not to think of the earth as our habitat when walking the land.
Sometimes I joke that if I am ever diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or some other similarly hideous disease, I may take a long walk in the Colorado Rockies and never return. To be honest, though, I’m not kidding. It strikes me as the most natural way of returning home.
I suppose the idea also has some appeal because it puts me in control. I like to have control. But it’s an illusion, of course. The fact of the matter is, I don’t control any of the really big stuff: whether I’ll come down with cancer tomorrow, or have a fatal heart attack or get mauled by a mountain lion on this hike, or get killed in an auto accident on my drive back, or etc., etc.
Yet it’s control I’m after. In fact, it’s a large part of the reason for this trip, namely, greater control over my mind and thoughts. I feel like I’ve made progress, but time will tell. I’m not even sure what “progress” might be. It might mean giving up all control. And relinquishing everything.
For now, I’m relishing being here, in this place, at this moment in time.
In the desert.