Shifting Sands

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I came here on a whim. It was a Saturday morning in May and the ringing of the telephone woke me. It was mid-morning, actually, and while I don’t remember for sure, it’s safe to say that I was hung over. I answered the phone, a little groggy but doing my best to sound alert, as if I’d been up for hours. Little did I know I would be on the road before lunch time.

I wish I could tell you that I set off in the spirit of adventure. But, the truth is, I started out by dragging my feet. I’d been depressed, in a state of mourning, really, for nearly a year and the process of packing and getting out of the house that day, for what I thought would be a quick weekend trip, felt overwhelming and a little daunting.

When I finally did return home a week later, it was to get the rest of my summer clothes. And, then, when I went home a second time, nearly three months later, it was to pack up and move everything else.

I’ve been here alone in my new place for almost a month now. It’s the off-season in this starkly beautiful desert town and sometimes I feel like I’m the only one here.

The heat has been particularly harsh these past few weeks but I don’t mind. Sometimes it feels good, at least for the first minute or two, a welcome contrast to what is, for the time being anyway, my hermetically-sealed, air-conditioned existence.

I’ll stand outside in the triple-digit heat and soak it in, allowing it to work its way into me and through me, warming me all the way to my bones. I imagine that the heat will purify me, my body, my heart, that it will cleanse me of a lifetime’s accumulation of emotional and spiritual toxins, a sort of sauna for my soul.

Sometimes sadness and grief still wash over me, but with much less frequency than they used to. All I know is that I feel lighter here, stronger, and more hopeful. Even better, I feel a renewed sense of faith these days, faith in the beauty and mystery and promise of life, as well as a renewed faith in myself and my own promise.

Some people are surprised at me, puzzled by what I’ve done. One friend has even expressed his concern, saying he worries that I don’t have a plan.

The way I see it, sometimes you don’t need a plan. Sometimes it’s enough to just get unstuck. Sometimes it’s enough to do something, anything, simply because you have arrived at the point where you just cannot allow yourself to stagnate or wallow anymore.

My plan was to create momentum. My plan is to begin again.

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