Thursday, May 11, 2006

I am a Desert Woman Wannabe


A year ago I was in Arizona, taking this picture at the almost-edge of a 5,000 foot drop into Tuweep Canyon. I was experiencing the canyons and the high desert for the first time. And I loved it. The desert grabbed me and has not let go.

I live in the northeast. I live in a land of winters and allergies and traffic and pavement and people and cities and pollution and night skies without all the stars.

This land, this urban life, no longer fits me. It is like a shoe that has a worn out patch that is causing an irritation.

I am on-hold here, spinning my wheels ever more slowly.

Yet I have obstacles to moving -- chief among them is fear. Oh sure, I can hold up some health issues and some life-task issues that are real, but under-girding them is the fear of making the move into the unknown -- just because I feel it is the right thing to do.

I am such an independent person, so used to stepping out in general, that my current fear both embarasses and mystifies me. So I will expose it to the sun and to your scrutiny and will see what happens.

Look, here are the Chirchauhua Mountains. Are they not splendid?

And so I ask you in the nebulous space of the internet who may be happening by these words to say a prayer or wish a wish for me and for all others who have the cinderblocks of fear attached to our ankles.

5 Comments:

Blogger Ginger said...

Come on out west! It's so good for the soul. :)

10:57 AM  
Blogger samtzmom said...

You will eventually end up there as the calling is just too great. When you are ready, there will be no second thoughts... off you'll go... to your destination of peace.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Maggie Rose said...

what a great place to live!! the American west is well worth pushing through the unknown fears

I wish you strength all surprising courage, Mata

Maggie

2:33 PM  
Blogger Shupac said...

I know well the desire to live in a place that feels more like home, and the hesitation to make the move brought on the things that we find or put in the way.

The first time my wife and I went to Utah, she didn't want to leave. The southwest doesn't pull at my heart like the North Woods, but I can certainly understand some of its attractions.

It sounds like you want to go to someplace more than you want to get away from someplace, which sounds like a healthy footing on which to begin. I don't know what your plans are for when you arrive--they may be well formed. But if not, you may be able to overcome or lessen your fears if you have some ideas about what you want to do there aside from being close to beautiful places. In other words, if you have the rough contours of daily life sketched out. That might mean a job, or it could be as simple as knowing which wildflowers you want to learn about. Perhaps a more few exploratory exploratory visits are in order?

One other thing comes to mind. When people join religious communities (another dramatic life-changing move), there is, as I'm sure you know, a fairly long trial period that often begins with a series of extended visits, and progresses to a postulancy, a novitiate, and temporary vows before final vows are made. The final committment isn't made precipitately, but it's not made from an extended period of just wishing and wanting either. Maybe you need a desert novitiate?

At any rate, I pray you find your way through this.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Mata H said...

Shu, what you say is very wise. I have been trying to find ways to break this down into smaller pieces so it does not feel so overwhelming. I do agree that another exploratory visit is in order. I have this image in my imagination of a house in the desert - adobe-like, not in a city. I see cactus in the garden, my furniture and rugs inside. I see a big old dog waiting for me. There are mountains in the background. Places to fish and watch birds are nearby. Now, to find where that is. And to find a way to make a living there.

I love the idea of an Arizona Novitiate! Thank you so much for your thoughts as they are such a good reminder about what I need to do next and why.

When I was very young, "gypsy" moves were very easy. They get more complex now, which is OK, but it is an adjustment :-)

11:58 AM  

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