The world has a special place for meanderers. Generally, it's on a sleepy back road where we can't do any harm. Here in New Mexico a meanderer's road might cut through high desert sage brush and blue grama grass, where hawks cast their shadows over hidden burrows and antelope graze among the cholla, and your tires send dust clouds soaring into the sky behind you. In other places, meanderers' roads might wind through corn fields and farmhouses, or among beech and maple trees in hillside forests.

Meanderers' roads are easy to get lost on. They dead end or turn in odd directions. The next intersection--if there is one--is liable to be labeled something vague like "K Road," and the sign might have bullet holes through it, because what else are people who live on back roads (apparently) supposed to do with their time?

The thing is, the important thing, the thing almost as important as the sage brush and hawks and antelope and the huge blue sky drawing you onward--these are the roads where you might find a small town diner that has good pie. Only meanderers (and people who know what they're doing, but they don't concern us here) ever find this pie. And nothing tastes quite so sweet as a flaky butter crust and warm cherry filling when you've just been wondering what county you're in by now and whether you'll find your way home before dark. The questions still remain, but for those few minutes they're not a worry. You've found an oasis and can set adventure aside for a while.

Excursions (to come to the point) is a blog for meanderers. Or "contemplatives," maybe, if we're going to be dignified: people who aren't bound for anywhere in particular and who take their time not getting there, and who pause and look and wonder, and sometimes just listen to the stillness--the stillness you only hear when you set your self and your plans aside for a while.

Some of the excursions I write about here will be real ones--brief adventures within hollering distance of Albuquerque. Most of them will be excursions of the mind and heart. For the last 18 years an illness called ME/CFS has taken up houseroom in my body, and it doesn't much like to travel. But the imagination is a spacious thing, and the spirit something that can grow and thrive even under stern limits. As The Guard Dog says,

When I do write about the journey of illness, I promise I'm not looking for pity. Feel free not to have your heart wrung--really. I am simply being open about the reality of my life. I will also write sometimes about the spiritual side to this journey. I identify as a Quaker, one of the Religious Society of Friends, and that colors much of my thinking. I am not trying to convince anyone to become religious--any more than I would try to convince anyone to become ill. I'm just trying to be true to my experiences and hope very much that you will be true to yours. "Honor the journey" is my motto these days. Observe it, live it, respect it. Honor it as it is. Because you never know. Somewhere around the next bend, there might just be some pie.