After four months on the central coast of California, we are back home here in the high desert. I am acutely aware of the disorientation that travel causes for a host of reasons; fatigue, loss of familiar places and even, a process of re-acquaintance with our new surroundings, amplified by major topographical changes: The Pacific coast to the high desert at about 5000 feet.
During the months we’d been gone, we drove back to check that all was well but stayed only for a few days; sort of feeling like visitors here, strangely more at home in our cozy, tiny space in the RV.
While it feels great being back in our home, I feel disoriented by the spaciousness of our home compared to the 400 square feet we lived in for 120 days. Also that I’ve missed out on time here; mostly Christmas. Back around December 22nd, we decided to have a party at home with our Nevada friends and their kids. Probably the best party we’ve had in years, I raced like crazy to put up Christmas decorations the morning of December 22nd, the day scheduled for the party, because we were expecting several children at the party. We had purchased gifts from Santa for them; giving them out made the party for us and everyone else but then we left only a few days later to return to the California coast leaving all those Christmas decorations sitting here in our empty house.
Since we just returned home yesterday, this morning was the first chance I had to put away the Christmas decorations and to switch out the wreaths on the front door from Christmas to Lent. Doing so made me think about Christ, of course, and for the first time since I’ve been a Christian, I counted up the days from the end of Christmas-Epiphany, this year on January 8th, to Ash Wednesday: 41 days.
Forty-one days to cover the birth of Christ, the smidgen we know about the lives of the child, his mother and father in Bethlehem, Egypt and Nazareth, his public ministry then whap; we’re in the forty days of Lent. He lived for 33 years and we cover his entire life in 89 days or so it feels to me as I ponder the timing of the liturgical calendar.
I got a message from Janyce right after we got home last night, Janyce and her husband Dave were neighbors down in the RV park where we stayed and became good friends. Like us, they are dog lovers. Janyce called because said the people who now inhabit the site we did have a red Dobie. Janyce and Dave have heard about my affinity…no, my love for Dobies, especially red ones, for close to four months and was impressed enough with the irony that she sent me a photo of this Dobie girl. Here she is: