You will never hear anyone describe the coastline as a hot, barren, desolate wasteland, which are the precise characteristics I loathe about the desert with every fiber of my being. The ocean’s horizon—where land and sky meet the sea—evokes a celestial feeling as if you could reach out and ascend into the ether of heaven, whereas the desert’s horizon feels as though you’re descending into the bowels of purgatory, that all changed a few days ago. It was the first time I actually navigated the drive, solo. And I can tell you without reservation just how daunting the prospect was of being alone on a two lane dessert highway— with nothing more than an occasional rest stop every 50-miles— sandwich between a prickly, unfriendly terrain, lorded over by geckos, scorpions, and snakes.
I left early that morning to avoid the mid-day heat. In spite of a crystal clear sky, wind advisories were in place through the Palm Desert pass which only added to my predisposed anxiety. Just two hours outside of Los Angeles—the highway narrows from five lanes to two— I knew I had entered a nomadic landscape where radio and cell signals cease to exist. Abandoned to the silent inhabitants of this bleak and inhospitable wilderness, I was resigned to my fate. It was just me, the highway, and a few trucks. I set the cruise control, turned on my iPod, and reluctantly settled in to pilot the course.
Roughly 30-minutes later, I remember sending up a prayer: God, please bring me home safely. The words had barely escaped my thoughts, when suddenly, an all-encompassing wave ensconced me with the intensity of a protective shield. Whatever it was, certainly wasn’t coming from inside the car, in fact, it felt as though the car had been lifted by this inexplicable force that was now carrying me to my destination. This wasn’t the first time I experienced something like this, although it was the first time I recall being fully present and at one with it (probably because I had never called upon it with the same conscious intent as I had that day). My impression had always been that I either inadvertently entered this energy field, or that it had anonymously arrived to pass through me like an x-ray scan. Energy isn’t tangible the way a particle of matter is. We can’t take it apart and divide it, nor can we observe it unless it interacts with something, like leaves lifted in a microburst or the out reaching ripples generated from a pebble dropped in a pond. And like that pebble, had the intent behind my thoughts created this rippling effect that was now responding in kind?
While this energy was navigating the car and the car was propelling me—having turned over the controls to that of a passenger— I was freed up to glance out both side windows, and begun viewing my surroundings through a different lens. As if sight and sound went from analogue to digital, the mountain scape took on hues of deep periwinkle, streaked with green and burnt sienna under a turquoise sky. Even tumbleweeds and Brita bushes seemly bowed and danced in harmony with this loving, magnanimous force. Wow! I exclaimed. This is beautiful… I then checked the temperature gauge. The outside temperature was a perfect 75 degrees and remained so for the duration. I couldn’t have ordered a more spectacular day. The music I was playing now resonated deep, rich pear-shaped tones that were no longer echoing through the speakers, but were acoustically vibrating through me. I had become the conduit of this energy, and “It” was me, humming along to that one song which stayed pulsating within me for the entire ride. As I rounded the turnabout of my exit, I felt this energy’s momentum wave me on. Thank you, my thoughts whispered back, thank you for being here with me.
Normally, after a 6-hour drive, I would’ve been exhausted, but all my cells were fully charged like a Smartphone that had plugged into a USB port. During my years of traveling, I’ve been blest with the opportunity to visit most of the locations that lay claim to this energy field: Sedona, the Grand Canyon, the Great Pyramid of Giza, Tanah Lot in Bali, the butterfly fields of Michoacán, and the granite mountain peaks of Machu Picchu, however this energy is non-local. Its vortices exist outside of space and time. It is fully present everywhere, in everything and everyone. It is merely waiting for us to dial in to it. To experience it, we need only let go of the current dial of our perception and retune our bandwidth to the station playing, a uni-verse.