In 1976 my very first job was cooking hamburgers at McDonald's on Lakewood Blvd. in Lakewood, California. It was the beginning of a career in the restaurant industry that spanned almost a decade. That was followed by almost twenty years in the legal field and over five years as an alternative medicine practitioner.
I've come full circle.
Six days a week, I stand at a six burner gas stove and a flat top grill cooking breakfast for a few hundred Marines. It's familiar.
Two months ago, I left my non-stress job as a massage therapist, my beautiful apartment on Mercer Island, my friends, my life to travel over 1,200 miles to Twentynine Palms to open not one, not two, but three restaurants at the Marine Corps Air Ground Control Center's new MCX. It was an act of service. It was an act of total faith.
The day I arrived, I found myself trying to supervise the completion of construction, installation of equipment and opening three restaurants from the ground up. My often repeated comment was, "I don't know what I'm doing."
The end of the first week found me devastatingly homesick for the lush green, mountains and water of Seattle. The desert felt hostile, barren.
Every day was more stressful than the day before as opening day approached. Everything went wrong. I began asking for higher guidance over every piece of paper and every next step of the process. Finally, I asked every friend I knew to send me magic and somehow my despair lifted.
After one more morning of waking up totally anxious and in despair, I made a decision to be happy. Even so I kept asking, "What am I doing in this desert?"
Then the answer came:
The most powerful religions of the world were born of desert metaphysics
extremes of desert visions.
Moses, Jesus and Mohammed were men of the desert.
it was their home.
The sea was all right for special effect
- part it or walk on it -
But if they had serious business . . .
with God or the devil,
they went to the desert.
The restaurants opened on time. They're running relatively smoothly. I've done what I came here to do. It's time to go home.