Visiting Heaven in Hell

(Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”)


Going with the flow is taking me interesting places, most recently to heaven in hell. (I’m trying to be clever, and probably not succeeding.)

A friend had a conference in Palm Springs, and she let me hitch a ride with her. The weather was hellishly hot, but the scenery was heavenly and made up for any discomfort.

We wandered through the botanical gardens — a veritable treasure trove of cactuses. We admired the statuary arrayed around town. We feasted on old fashioned hamburgers and utterly fantastic malts at a fifties-style diner and nibbled our way around the edges of a casino buffet that featured a huge assortment of vegetable dishes.

And we took the tram to the top of Mount San Jacinto (an ascent of two and a half miles) where I stared at the tops of the trees and wondered if I could ever traverse the nearby Pacific Crest Trail.

Do I really have the courage to live an adventurous life? I honestly don’t know. I haven’t really dived adventure yet. This weekend was more like dipping my toe into a tide pool while the whole of the ocean beckoned to me.

But still, tame though the trip might have been, it was adventure of a sort.

4 Responses to “Visiting Heaven in Hell”

  1. Deborah Owen Says:

    I’m genuinely happy for you. It’s a beginning… a cornerstone to build on. There is a big world out there and life is pretty much what you make it. The new life won’t be like the old one, but just breathing fresh air and looking around is healthy. You have a lot to offer the world, Pat. Blessings and prayers.

  2. Kathy Says:

    I think you were very clever – your title sounded like a song title. And you know what they say – “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Taking steps works for me and I’m taking baby steps in my endeavors, too.

  3. Pat Hernandez Says:

    This was a delightful blog. I’ve always been adventurous–even going to and living in countries by myself or with my young son in tow. Sometimes I scare myself when I think of the things I’ve done but I’m glad I did them.

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