| by Danielle Vincent

Don't Fence Me In

A couple weekends ago, Russ and I went out to the Black Rock Desert, about 2 hours north of our home in Reno, Nevada.

For several years, it was the location of the Burning Man festival, an art and music event that rose out of the dust and left no trace after clean-up. Russ and I met at Burning Man in something like 2003 or 2004 (but it wasn't until much later that we started dating).

It's a harsh environment.

When it's not 120 degrees, it can be below freezing. Sometimes it feels like both extremes happen in the same day.

But in this harsh environment, lots of creativity has room to grow and expand. It's a beautiful thing.

Over the years, Burning Man has become more popular... last I heard, more than 60,000 people attended the event, making it the third most populated city in Nevada for one week only. And with that popularity have come rules that we all have to agree to in order to ensure the safety of the participants... rules like "don't bring firearms" or "you must get a license for any vehicle that you drive at the event, and because cars are generally a hazard, licenses will only be distributed to vehicles that are not recognizable as vehicles."

Burning Man Art Car

I agree these are necessary rules. Not everyone does, but I agree.

But it's also restricting. And due to the popularity of the event, Russ and I have been less and less interested in going. We haven't been in 8 years.

So going back out to the desert and standing there in the wild, wide openness of the nothing, shooting fireworks and having a little campfire, and waking up to coffee in a bright dawn (I mentioned my love of coffee from a metal cup) was a powerful infusion of joy for both of us.

I have no point in sharing this story. I just thought you might want to know, and perhaps you relate.

Whatever brings you joy, I hope you take the time to find it and spend some time in it.

Thank you for being on this adventure with us (and the whole Outlaw gang).


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