Vagabond #3 ~ 08.09.2009 - 13.09.2009

Wadley: Círculo Completo


After a day of rest, I went back out to the desert to work on my stone peace sign and confer with Senor Mescalito alone. The Argentinian wanted to experience spending several days alone in the desert and we bid each other farewell. I’ve done the several days in the desert before and decided I preferred to sleep in a bed and not wake up with nose, ears, mouth, eyes, etc. full of fine desert powder when I woke up in the morning.

To my surprise, my stone peace sign was indeed very much intact and someone had spelled out about my peace sign in the same white stones I’d been using, G-R-A-C-I-A-S. Again, I smiled.


I spent the remainder of the afternoon adding more stones to my peace sign and listening practicing forgetting the “me” as I focused on J. Krishnmurti’s line “the observer IS the observed”.

Just as I was completely getting to that place and focused on the mountain the Huichol Indians call “Quemado”, I noticed the clouds seemed awfully darker than they’d previously seemed. In a short time, they got significantly darker and more ominous. They were definitely advancing toward me and no longer looked like a distant storm that would miss me, but a giant storm that would engulf the entire desert. The Eastern horizon was completely blackened with cloud and I could see a thin like of what looked like fog at the base of the mountain.

Strangely, I was not afraid. I finished the part of the peace sign I was working on and evaluated one more time. The thin line of fog was much larger now and definitely not fog, but the powdery desert dust being sent up into the air several meters by what hard rain. The entire sky looked like Armageddon was upon me. The sound of thunder rolled like giants playing marbles with planet-sized boulders. Lighting shot all along the mountaintops and I decided I might ought to go ahead and start walking back to Wadley to seek shelter.


Normally, I would have been in a panic at this point. I wasn’t. I walked calmly for the hour it took me to get back to Wadley. I’d completed the section of my peace sign that I wanted to get done before heading back to Texas and managed to get back to the compound, take down my hammock out of the lone mesquite tree and move my bike to a place where the kickstand wouldn’t sink into mud when the storm hit.

I lit a couple candles in my room and waited for the desert onslaught. The wind roared and I could barely see anything out my door through all the dirt in the air. I wondered if maybe I should look for shelter that was more sturdy than the adobe room I was in. Only, everything in this town was basically made out of the same stuff. Lightning cracked, thunder rolled right over my room like it was going to crush anything that wasn’t a mountain. Still, I was calm.

At one point I even wrapped a shirt around my face to filter out the fine dirt that was flying everywhere and walked around in the storm to soak up some of the palpable majestic energy. I wondered what the poor Argentinian must be going through, but what could be done? I had no idea where he was in the desert and the storm was already bearing down all over the entire desert.

I walked calmly in the storm and almost as soon as I’d got an unsafe distance away from my shelter… the wind died down, the clouds began to break open to expose a golden sunset spraying it’s last rays across the desert. Just like that. So surreal and stunning. I then woke out of my “calm” and hurried back to my room to get my camera. As I focussed on grabbing my own photos of Huiricuta thorns, I thought of the Argentinian still out in the desert and how relieved he must feel. And, how he too was being treated to such a magical display. Again, I smiled.