I'm currently in southern Arizona outside Tucson on a mostly silent spiritual retreat. This place I come to on and off for over 12 years happens to be on the edge of some of the best winter hiking in the country. Maybe the world. I feel guilty telling you how lovely it is right now, albeit chilly, when the rest of the country is so freezing damn cold. Nevertheless, I'll say the contemplation is going well---I've only gotten two 'correction' notes on the bulletin board since arriving last Sunday, one for mis-parking my rental car and the other for letting my cell phone go off outdoors, answering it and then laughing really loudly causing people for miles in all directions to lose their chain-of-quiet thoughts. I can be such a disruptive influence.
In between praying for various things, including good hiking weather, I go out into this amazing, wild desert land and completely wear myself out walking and climbing every day. I'm indeed blessed that I can do this every couple of years. Many of my good friends now go to Florida for the winter, and I go and visit them and will continue to. But I have this insane gene, this rogue DNA programming, that makes thoughts of Florida go out the window when I see and think of terrain like this: