The wife and I have been visiting our getaway desert mountain oasis now for about ten days. I’ve watched a couple of snowstorms blow in on top of us from the San Jacinto Mountains, which separate us from the Pacific.

The people have been telling us how brutally cold the air is expected  to become,  but we can only laugh,  as 40 is not that bad, especially  when compared with the rest  of the country.

The soft snow sprinkle we received the other day has nearly melted. I am afraid that the owners of this beautiful home, when they return, will think I am great at exaggerating the facts, perhaps even deluded by my own lack of weather-sense. I had written and told them what mighty results the last arctic blast had left behind, but a few warm sunny days have made my claims appear to be less than perfect.

I had planned to do some heavy reading while here. Somehow my resolve has gone the way of the fallen snow. It seems that this happened to me once before down here; perhaps the desert air has a sprinkle of laziness in it.

I did complete the one book on mindfulness that I had been slowly chewing on, and managed to read part way through another on the same subject as well. I would think that my focus and concentration would not be bound by the likes of geographical location, that I should be able to read anything anywhere with equal ease. The couple of places back home where I sit to read have formed within me a habit of focusing that I seem to have difficulty calling upon when my body is moved elsewhere. I once required my glasses, and now it’s both my glasses and my chair.

I look, then, for other complementary activities so that my mind does not go to sleep on me. I am not perturbed by the phenomenon, however. It’s winter, the season in which I most identify with sluggishness, I’m hundreds of miles from the comforts and routines of home, and besides, I have had the rare privilege of parking myself at the base of these 10,000-foot mountains in awe and solitude. My efforts at reading have been of a different order of magnitude than what is my custom, and I feel as if another form of reading has sprouted up inside to temporarily replace the one with which I usually engage.

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