Forest of saguaros. Random ocotillo in bloom. The desert bursts with surprises. For three days I stayed with friends on a mountaintop above Phoenix. At night, the city below laid out like a circuit board. The mornings full of birds that buzz or laugh—birds I’ve never before laid eyes on. From the patio I scan the landscape below and study the mountains behind the mountains behind the mountains behind the mountains. Surely, if I look west, the ocean is there somewhere. If I look east, the stubble of golden corn rolling across the Iowa hillside. In a way, I see all of that. I see past and future. I see where I’ve been and where I’m going.
I’m still traveling and my mom continues to do well at the nursing home in Iowa. She’s had a raft of visitors. I’ve had a raft of feelings, but mostly relief. Relief for me. Relief for her. While she lived with me, I often led my mom outside to look at the moon. The moonrise in the desert was spectacular last night. I saw it with friends as we drove down into town for dinner. Maybe the moonrise in Iowa was spectacular too. I don’t really know. There’s a lot I don’t know right now as I begin this new chapter of my life. But the future feels full and bright and beautiful.