Do you ever get to a place in your life where worldly demands take their toll?  Where the constraints of time, finances, responsibilities and stress pile up in one gigantic car wreck on the freeway and you’re running late to pick up your kid from school and to top it off, a Mini Coupe dashes in front of you, making you slam on your breaks, spilling your drink and you just SNAP?! The rage surges through your veins as your blood turns from hot to boiling in a millisecond, followed by profanities and ridiculous hand gesticulations and you are transformed into Michael Douglas in “Falling Down,” angry at the Mini Mofo because “he….he….he,” and you catch the reflection in your rear-view mirror and are horrified to discover the accusatory person staring back at you is the “HE” (or “SHE”)?

Well, that’s what happened to me last week and I realized, that if I didn’t take a vacation instantly, with myself for myself and by myself, I would inevitably, permanently snap.

Door knockerSo I put everything on hold, stepped out of the “he” and back into the “ME” and into a world of peace, beauty and tranquility.  I booked two nights at Joshua Tree Oasis vacation rental lodging in the middle of the Mojave Desert, two hours outside of Los Angeles. As soon as I walked through the front door with the Asian-inspired knocker replicating a bobcat I was instantly transported to a place of relaxation and serenity.

Intoxicated by the New Age music and the incredible 360 living room views of the amazing Joshua Tree National Park, I dropped my suitcase, tore off my clothes and rid myself of the literal and metaphorical baggage.

Pouring myself a glass of the complimentary house vino, I connected my iPhone to the stereo and allowed myself to be transported into a place I hadn’t been in a long time…alone.  I danced, laughed, took a candle lit bath, played the Joshua Tree Oasis acoustic guitar and musical instruments, read a couple chapters of a book I’ve not found the time to read until now, had cheese and crackers and then jumped into the delicious Joshua Tree OBobby porchasis Jacuzzi.

I realized I really missed myself! Could it be that I really hadn’t had such essential alone time since I was a child?

Then to my surprise and merriment I discovered a bobcat had been sitting on the porch silently staring at me. Here was a creature so proud, beautiful and independent who was able to survive alone in a hostile environment—and appear so content and at peace. I felt he symbolically served as the Joshua Tree desert mascot coming to cheer me on, on my path to inner enlightenment.

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and let out a long exhale, releasing all mental and emotional toxicity.  When I opened my eyes again the bobcat was gone. But his symbolic message rang loud and clear. I knew I could take on that other world when I was ready to tackle it with a renewed grace and strength. But for now… I was deliciously alone and happy with my best friend in the world…me.


Ethan Wilson