Walking down the path from the Tiki camp to the pavillion at Outpost the dust swirls up in little poofs around my boots. The dry stream bed is smooth and sandy from all those springs when water rushed the rocks away, leaving only the soft sand behind. I am thinking of all the times I have seen grads do their run-ins on this path. I’m thinking of how odd their clean white T-shirts looked. How some of them loped toward their parents and others did a full out sprint. I am remembering the cries of their parents as they saw their child for the first time in many, many weeks. Tears come to my own eyes as I remember how parents and children fell into each others arms, weeping with joy, both changed during the absence.
Walking down their path I feel honored. I am wondering where they are today. I am wondering if the silence and the solitude of the desert have remained with them in ways that let them reflect upon the strength and resolve they worked so hard to achieve. Do they remember? Can they feel it still? The dust will settle and eventually erase our tracks from this path. The rains will come again and the water will wash away our mark. Although we will no longer be part of the desert, it will always be part of us. Our true selves glimpsed, we can never again claim blindness.