It was just a week ago that I was in the desert.  It feels like a lifetime ago.  It feels so far away.  And yet I am still buzzing in my soul from that trip.  It was three days that could have been a lifetime.

One of the most luscious things about this trip was the long stretches of silence and yes emptiness.  While there was plenty of laughter and much catching up to do, lots of wine and cooking, there were long periods of time when the talking ceased and we all just sat content in our own quietness.

What struck me at those moments was how unbusy I was.  There was nothing to do, no problems to solve, no to do list to process.  I would flip through my book, or walk and just sit and be.  There were moments when I would just look over at Eddie, who lives so far away and I would just smile, happy to be near him, to soak in the magic of him in in his environment.  There were moments when I could just be.  Quiet.  Unworried.  Still.

As we walked amid the chollaya cactus on Sunday, AJC broke the silence.  “What is so beautiful about the desert,” she said quietly “Is vast space where things aren’t”.

When she said it I repeated those words over and over again in my brain.  The space where things aren’t.  That was the magic that was calling to me.  I was answering a need to take in the emptiness, to dwell in the vast space where things aren’t.

I am a lucky girl.  My life is full and teeming with life.   My life is crowded and rich and overflowing with juicy, crazy manic loveliness.

I spend my workdays doing meaningful work surrounded by people who bring me great joy.  I return home to a boy who rocks my world, delicious food on the table cooked with love by a dear friend.  We sing and hoola hoop and hang in the park and then after Max lays his head to sleep I fill the hours between his bedtime and mine with guitar, long chats with friends, walks with Jackie, blogging, email, knitting and a good book.  My life is a rainforest, dense and green, teeming with energy and pulsing with life.  It is full of music and laughter and deep conversations and tears of sadness and joy.  It is beautiful and I wouldn’t change it.

But it is a bit full and sometimes I feel a bit crowded, choked and overgrown. 

I am blessed.  I have bills to pay but a checking account to pay them from.  I have a yard to sit in but bushes to tend, beds to weed and grass to mow.  I have a beautiful house that collects dust and too much stuff that needs to be put away.  Sometimes I am drowning in my abundance.

When I walked into the desert and felt the space all around me, felt the austere wind on my face and spread my arms to the sky I could breathe.  I could be still.  The energy of a thousand wonderful things was not beseiging me.

Instead I could look down and notice the beauty of one small wildflower sprung up out of the rocky sand.  One tiny bit of beauty made even more lovely by the fact that it was all alone.

When our time in the desert was done I was thrilled to be back in the jungle of my life.  I wouldn’t trim out any of the messiness about me–at least not permanently–but I realized I need to create my own private desert.  The mental space where things aren’t.  The physical place where  I can sit and just be.   I need to build me a desert into my days.  A space where things aren’t.


8 Responses to “The Space Where Things Aren’t”

  1. Jena Strong Says:

    The desert landscape comes as a relief, much in the way meditating or yoga come as a relief, providing contrast to the fullness, allowing you to come home to the jungle with fresh eyes. I’ll say it a million times, Meg: Beautiful, lush, evocative writing here.

  2. Jena Strong Says:

    By the way, can you share the html for the “Bloggers Helping Jeni” image? I’ll stick it on my sidebar.

  3. Chloe Says:

    I love the images of both your daily life and the desert retreat. I too have noticed the feeling of drowning in abundance and business, and I have come to cherish more moments of stillness in my days. This is a beautiful post, Meg.

  4. Maggie, dammit Says:

    This is what I’ve been searching for. That thing I can’t find, even when I go to the places it should be. I don’t know, maybe I’m just not ready. I just can’t imagine that I have the permission yet. I can’t imagine a moment where I’m okay with not doing the things that absolutely have to get done. I’m so glad you got a taste. If you figure out how to recreate it at home, please share here in the way that only your exquisite words can.

  5. angharad Says:

    deserts are so beautiful. the idea of a place in our heads that recreates that space is inspired. i live in chaos, both in my head and in real life. a still place would be so good for me – and for everyone around me!

  6. Lu Says:

    I could feel all of your blessings just reading this post.

  7. bella Says:

    A timely post for me as I am currently ending many things in my life and though this is to create space for other things I want to give myself too, for right now I’m hanging out in the space where things aren’t. I rather like it.
    As much as I find mountains glorious, in my heart I really do long for the open plains of the Midwest, vast flat fields where you can see nothing but wide open space for miles and miles, the earth seeming to touch the sky.
    I suppose it is about embracing the whole, seeing both as god, the limitless empty space of nothingness where all is one and the fertile jungle of fullness of life. Both are beautiful.
    Thank-you for offering me this.

  8. Passing Through - Meg Casey Says:

    […] for me–my Mondays were otherwise occupied. There was the Pogues show at the 9:30 club, my trip to the desert, a migraine and then the project deadline I needed to crunch on because I couldn’t sit still […]