The dark night sky was studded with stars as I opened to the desert landscape of people’s souls. I was finding a rhythm and enjoying personal fulfillment in my Spiritual Direction practice, when my husband had his epiphany; it was time to retire and actually move to the desert.
Could I climb back up on the horse that I had recently dismounted? After expending exuberant amounts of energy in prayer for six years, did I have the resources left for a ride of this magnitude?
I pondered over all that had transpired during the past several years. Had I learned, or unlearned enough? Was I any wiser? Or, did it matter? I questioned, too; what would materialize in the months while readying to leave? Several months seemed like a long goodbye.
The last ten years had led me to become embracing of differing ways to worship. As I sat in the peace, the pleasure and at times, the exasperating impatience of simply being, I had become less myopic, which abetted me in being more present and open to others with their contrary personifications. Also, I began seeing ordinary things, to which I had previously given little attention, now with the possibility of becoming distinct, because I pictured Spirit lingering over them.
The place we called home was surer and more stable, but new life beckoned us. Could any person or circumstance promise us that we would survive the change? The dry land that numerous faith traditions and several cultures have, for centuries, called home, was now inviting us to call her home, too.
I was not naïve to the fact that change is an invitation for transformation and because transformation is valuable, it comes with a great price. If I wanted to morph into a deeper oneness, spiritually, I would have to let go, adapt, shift and at particular points, die to self.
I listened intently to those who had taken the journey on which we were about to embark and learned that significant changes might honor or haunt us with the discovery of what lay dormant within. As frightened as I was at the thought of rattlesnakes, I realized that coyotes, cougars and yes, rattlesnakes could not begin to compete with one’s own demons.
I was beyond weary, trying to make sense of the nine words that I heard in 2007. However, through my fatigue, I knew that this call really began in the fall of 1978. And so, I looked at my husband, nodded my head and said, “Yes”. At that moment we began walking through the void, something that conversion invariably asks in return for Life.