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Crossing the Spiritual Desert

The last time you waited for something, did it feel like forever? You trudged through a hard, lonely, dry season of long days and even longer nights. And when the day finally arrived, you thought you were seeing a mirage.

That’s me. I’ve been hoping to visit the Maritimes for a decade, and actively planning for two years. And in three days I’m starting my cross-Canada trip! I’ll be on the road for five months. I feel everything all at once: unbelieving, grateful, elated, awed, breathless, peaceful. 

Those long, dry months and years of waiting—and preparing emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally and socially—were necessary. 

But now I see a big green light, and I’m clear for takeoff. 

When You Can’t See the Light

Maybe you’re waiting for healing, love, or freedom. Maybe you’re waiting for a test result, a judge’s decision, or a new member to join your team or family. Maybe you’re waiting for lunch, or the next bank teller to become available.

This “waiting time” is important. And necessary.

It may feel endless, boring, frustrating or even painful, but things are happening below the surface. A seed has taken root and is growing; when the time is right it’ll poke through the ground. You’ll be amazed at its strength and beauty, and grateful that it took this long to grow roots.

Crossing the Spiritual Desert

When I was leaving Death Valley last month (Look at How Far You’ve Come!), I stopped at the Great Salt Lake Desert in Utah. I got out of my van and started walking across the desert toward the mountains in the distance. After half an hour, they seemed just as untouchable and unreachable as when I first started.

I was getting closer. It just didn’t seem like it.

When I laid flat on my stomach to photograph the tiny salt crescents—when you’re nose-to-nose with them they look like ocean waves crashing against the shore—I wasn’t surprised at how cold and hard the desert floor was. I was, however, surprised at how alive it felt. 

I could feel the energy of the earth humming through the layers of salt. I felt revived and refreshed, filled with a new sense of hope and joy. I left knowing that even in the Great Salt Lake Desert, one of the coldest driest saltiest places on earth, new seeds of life grow.

Secrets of the Great Salt Lake Desert (What is a Spiritual Desert?)

In What is a Spiritual Desert? When You Can’t See the Light (YouTube video) I pair my photos with excerpts of a blog post by Dr Judith Rich (Crossing the Spiritual Desert). She shared ten “things to remember when you’re spiritually empty”, which was the perfect companion for my experience in the Great Salt Lake Desert in Utah.

May we travel lightly and joyfully, whether we’re still in the desert or sitting on the runway, cleared for takeoff.

With salty delight,


P.S. Next week, I’ll email you from somewhere in Alberta. Medicine Hat, maybe? 🙂 

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