“There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on earth.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Today is the right time to take a stroll with me, through a story from my book, The Donut Theory.
Now I stroll at leisure with God in the sunlit fields of life. Psalm57:13
When I moved to Arizona, I went to work at a retreat center called Spirit in the Desert. The name of the center captivated me, as did its mission statement: To provide hospitality to those who come and rest for awhile in the desert. The center sat on a little hill in a village, fittingly called Carefree.
No one hurries in Carefree. The streets are named to remind everyone to chill out, relax, and enjoy the village. There are no fast food or chain restaurants. Merchants button up their businesses before suppertime and tourists move on.
Each evening, as the blistering sun began to fade, I’d lace my walking shoes and head into the streets for a long walk to refresh my spirit. Companions were welcome, as long as they abided with the unspoken agreement to walk in silence—to listen to nature, perhaps a chorus of birds accompanied by a percussion of wind whipping through the hills.
I’d leave my office on Elbow Bend Road and amble down Nonchalant Avenue. If I passed another walker, I’d nod my head in greeting and continue circling around Easy Street and thensaunter up Ho Hum Road. A quick veer to the right and I’d stroll on to Tranquil Trail for a few blocks. A short jog up East Carefree Drive and a quick left turn, Rocking Chair Lane invited me to stop. However, I’d continue on and float down Dream Street. A short block later, I’d pause on Serene Street and sit on a boulder to meditate and listen to the chants of coyotes reverberating between the mountains. I’d watch cottontails race around creosote bushes, while keeping a watchful eye for rattlesnakes, a band of javelina, or a scraggly gray coyote.
Before the path became illumined by only stars and moonlight, I’d wander back to Spirit in the Desert in time to bid farewell to the sun as it slipped between layers of pink, purple, and orange taffeta clouds, before fading behind Black Mountain.
Dear Lord, thank you for restful places that renew my spirit. Amen.