i go to the desert to check out. and to check in.
i go for the stillness and for the silence.
this year, i was dealt cold and wind for the first three days. there was no silence. there was no stillness.
and i was still happy-as-could-be.
i kept my puffy on, but still got up with the sunrise and made coffee. instead of sitting to sip it and write in my journal, i went for long morning strolls.
while i felt desperate to roll out my mat and salute the sun, instead, i retreated to my tent and spent hours in restorative postures.
i set up a little painting studio in the back of my truck and listened to the wind’s futile efforts to interfere with my good time.
i even saddled up my bike and rode up and down the Behind-the-Reef road. miles and miles in either direction…i was the only one. the only person camping for miles in any direction.
with my puffy still on, i split wood, made fabulous meals, had marvelous campfires, and began to relax.
the wind was brutal. my staked down tent blew over twice. and i had equanimity the entire time.
it helps that i lived outside (literally) for over a year. and when i did, i was not only charged with caring for myself, but also for a partner and a handful of teenagers. and when i did, the conditions were often far worse than some mostly-cloudy-days-with-high-winds.
i practiced. i practiced letting go of any expectation i had related to the experience. i practiced allowing the wind to play its role. i practiced acceptance. i practiced gratitude. i practiced tuning in to my own stillness and silence.
there was no battle. there was only surrender to circumstance. and although i was the one who surrendered, i was also the victor.
the sun came out. the wind stopped. and i was able to peel off the puffy and expose my Irish flesh to the desert sun. and i continued to practice…
a week alone is breeding ground for reflection. and reflect i did. each thought i had was welcomed with gratitude.
everyone said the first 2 years would be challenging, and then it would get better. TRUTH.
that was a tough go of it for me. some moments were among the most challenging of my life. my patience was tested in ways and degrees that i could not have dreamed. and it has left me better for it.
the sand and the wind and the heat of the April desert left me shining like a freshly polished marble.
i’ll just keep right on rollin’ on…