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Chasing Windmills

Leaving Andrews, Texas on the morning of March 1, 2023 marks the beginning of a new month in our adventure across the country. Our destination for this day was Abilene, Texas, 176 miles away and about three hours of driving time. The scenery initially consisted of more of the same oil field paraphernalia but slowly transitioned from flat, dry red sand plains to gentle hills and a mixer of wooded trees and agricultural pastural fields. The biggest technological change was from oil rigs and pump jacks to wind generators or windmills.

For hours we observed row after row of these massive windmills as we rolled down the highway. Literally thousands of these structures dot the landscape as we past through small towns like Sweetwater in this part of Texas. According to Wikipedia, "Wind power in Texas, a portion of total energy in Texas, consists of over 150 wind farms, which together have a total nameplate capacity of over 30,000 MW (24% as of 2020). If Texas were a country, it would rank fifth in the world. Texas produces the most wind power of any U.S. state."

As we drove across west Texas on our way to Abilene I couldn't help but think of the literary character of Don Quixote. Chapter 8 of Cervantes' novel contains one of the most notable scenes in literature where Don Quixote mistakenly perceives windmills for giants and attempts to fight them. Don Quixote "tilting at windmills" has come to represent our own impractical battles with imaginary or over-inflated enemies.

As Karen and I reflect on our decision to sell our home of 23 years in California, downsize, simplify our lifestyle and set out on this "quest", I'm feeling a kinship with the Man of La Mancha. Don Quixote teaches us that life is to be challenged. That passion and discipline of a determined soul are a foundational element of being a leader. Quixote does not accept his current reality. He forces his creative imagery, his commitment, and his happiness on it.

After dealing with our two most recent "giants" at the beginning of our travels, We're seeing our perspective on a crisis changing and learning to embrace the unexpected challenges. And as this adventure continues we will use this new perspective to sally forth... "Sancho! My Armor! My Sword!"

'I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.'

John 16:33


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