Why we wait till the last minute (after a full day is done, when the kids are sleepy and the adults are worn out) to take photos is beyond me! It happens every time. “Oh! yes, we need to take the pictures before we leave!” Eyes are drooping, bodies are crumbling, and exhaustion shows in every face—but “we need to take the pictures before we leave.”
It is always difficult to say, “good-bye.” It was more difficult last night than in previous times. Will I visit Arizona and see my son, Kim, and grandchildren again? It is a question. It is a question I have to live with at 74. Some ignore the question or tuck it under the rug and pretend that reality isn’t real. It is real. The median life expectancy for men here in the US is 79 point something or other! This reality only makes life richer. Every moment and how I use it and live it is so important to me now. I sometimes wish this “wisdom of reality” had come to me 50 years ago!! Live the present moment to the full! Each of us must choose what the “full” part of that statement is for us.
Today we travel into yet another desert of the southwestern states—the Mojave. Once again, I’ll see those strange Joshua trees. Again, I'll feel the mysterious pull of the desert upon my spirit. “The Arizona desert,” wrote David W. Toll, “takes hold of a man’s mind and shakes it.” So the Mojave, as did the Sonoran desert, take hold of my mind and shake it, move it, and fill it with new glimpses into the meaning of life and of this universe in which we live.
“God takes everyone he loves through a desert. It is his cure for our wandering hearts, restlessly searching for a new Eden.” (Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting with God In A Distracting World, 2009)
“The desert tells a different story every time one ventures on it…” (Robert Edison Fulton, Jr, 1937)