My best Christmas present came late in the day after a visit to see my mom who lives way out at the edge of the California desert. Returning home, my family and I were witness to an amazing sunset across a huge expanse of open desert. A landscape dotted with salmon pink thunderheads depositing dark columns of rain never reaching the ground. Yumiko asked about my favorite places out there in the deep desert, and if I’d returned to any of those spots since coming back to the USA. I explained I hadn’t, that those places are simply too distant and too deep to be reached in a day. “You’ve got a tent” was her response, which sentence was both an invitation and encouragement to return, and to resume a lifestyle I’d shelved nearly two years ago.