By Ellen C. Caldwell

As I write this, I am currently one day into a month-long writing residency at the Bali Purnati Arts Center in Batuan and it is already magical. However, during the last couple of days I spent getting ready to leave my home in Los Angeles, it was really hard for me not to think of everything as a symbolic “last” as I mined for symbols at every turn.

Before I left my house, for instance, I washed my sheets and made my bed, thinking of the changed and tired me who would arrive to this oasis of a mattress after a month-long residency and international travel. I wondered what would lie in store for me and what stories and lessons I would bring back as I drifted off to sleep my first night back home.

Leaving my parking garage for the last time also felt dramatic and final as I clicked the button and watched the door close behind me in my rearview mirror. And as I looked out ahead through my front window, the low-rising fingernail of the new moon confronted my gaze directly as I drove out—presenting me with something that felt like such obvious symbolism that I smiled. It was in those moments that I couldn’t stop thinking about my new beginnings, how I would travel, and who I would be the next time I drove back in.

 Read the rest here at Desert Jewels.

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