I lived many years in the high desert of New Mexico and know the meaning of the desert and parched land exulting, the steppe rejoicing in bloom! Translucent lemon yellow of prickly pear cactus and vibrant purple of cholla dazzled the eyes. Winter snows and monsoon rains brought freshness to the burning sands and thirsty ground. Isaiah foretells the splendor that will come. As I wait in joyful hope, I remember the blossoming desert amidst the places of my heart that feel barren. I am invited to ask: To whom and to what situations am I blind? deaf? When am I lame, unable to move toward necessary action? Why do I stand mute when my voice would make a difference? I am among those with a journey to make. Joy and gladness are the promise. Am I ready to take one more step along this holy way today?

—Susan Kusz, SND serves as Associate Director at the Jesuit Retreat House in Oshkosh, WI.