Learning to be Present
I recently looked at a photo of myself from the Death Valley Quest in March 2011, and I was flooded with memories. I had celebrated my Mother’s birthday with her, a bit early, arranged for my brother to fly from the Midwest to be with her, so that I could follow this longing to be in the desert. It was a feeling of absolute necessity to be on this forgiveness quest. At the time, I did not know this would be the last birthday my Mother would have. I was not in denial that her time here was drawing to a close; I was simply following the call of Spirit.
In January 2011, I had a powerful dream, one of those dreams you remember from start to finish, with no need to write it down. At one point in the dream, it clearly pointed to the decision that I struggled to follow, which was the call to the desert. Do I go to Death Valley for 10 days or do I stay here and be with my Mother as much as possible? The dream and the subsequent longing left me with no choice. I knew that going to the desert was the only call I could follow and that it would change my life. And it did.
When I reflect on that time now in 2018 as I look at the photo of my post–solo time glowing face, I think of how that journey gave me all that I needed to be fully present with my Mother for the last two months of her life. I am sitting now in that new place that began on that journey, a place that includes becoming a quest guide, understanding forgiveness on a deeper and more expanded level, and being more grateful and present to life.