The move to California has been a whirlwind and surreal, while at the same time feeling all-consuming, so it seemed it would never actually happen. I sorted and packed and sorted and packed for so long I felt constrained to the penultimate level of hell. And here today, we are in our new home in California for 2 weeks. We spent the cross country trip in Olympia Blue, our minivan, wadded into 4 human-sized cavities among the softest and most precious of our belongings. Pete the Dog learned to wad himself into a dog-sized niche by the door, and traveled more congenially than the rest of us. We didn’t kill each other, and we’re here.
I loved the countryside in Ohio and Pennsylvania, the Allegheny forests and Appalachian mountains where I could lose myself since I was a boy. It was country where I could recede into oblivion from the world and commune with my Great Artist.
So getting used to the stark beauty of the desert is an adjustment. It’s not a trial or challenge, it’s just different. But one of the characteristics of the desert I find so apt at this time in my life: it’s wide open. There is little about the landscape that presents a refuge or a hiding place. The greatest threat in the desert is being unprepared, dehydration. You have to take care of yourself if you are going to survive, and there isn’t much use in dragging along a lot of excess camouflage with which to disguise yourself. Make sure you’re sensibly covered and stay full of wet.
And it’s an attitude I assume as a model in my life. Openness, the awareness to just be. Like the cacti in all their infinite variety, beautiful but unrepentant about their natures. There’s treasure inside and beauty outside, and nothing obscured in florid abundance. Not a thing wrong with who I am, in the palm of the Maker’s hand, here I stand.