Throughout this pilgrimage, from the Rockies to the desert sands of the Southwest, I have seen faces of those who for generations have led fellow pilgrims to the depths of their being to seek out love and purpose in others’ lives. I have seen their gentle gaze, compassion, and joy in leading pilgrims, like myself, to places we would rather not go–to places of vulnerability, to places where love is needed most. I have seen those faces–mentors, guides, gurus, the desert mothers and fathers, who, for centuries, because of their own descending, can now lead and guide, observe, be with and empathize with those who now have the courage to do the same into their hearts and souls. In order that others may be led to wholeness, they first had to take the journey within. I have seen the faces in the desert and have shed tears with them, asked simply form them to listen, not knowing where it all leads; the mystery will unfold itself as life ensues. I have seen those faces and imagine what their journey has been like–has it been as painful at times; of course, I think, they don’t become who they are if they didn’t face pain. The cross is inevitable, in whatever way it decides to show itself. To become the person God wants and has created us to be, much must be shed. Layers of stone and rocks, but not with anything mechanical or technical, but rather by the slow flow of a river that gradually wipes away all that has made us hard, and we finally begin to love. Sure, at times heavy rains come and wash away a great deal, but the faces I see have only become who they are through being patient with the river; that it will run its course. Canyons are created overnight, but over the course of much delayed time. The faces I see know that about the desert and know that about the mountains and everything else God has created, myself included. The quest for Love has to often run its course; we exhaust our will until we surrender ourselves to the mighty river that flows within, and we in turn, return the gift by becoming those faces in the desert.