Not only have I felt trapped in San Antonio by the inability to sell my home in a market that has deeply eroded the equity that was once going to fund retirement for me and my soon-to-be ex-wife, but also by my employer who will not provide me with a full-time position and benefits, yet hires me PRN (as needed) full time, without benefits, holidays, without paid vacations, and without pay if a patient cancels an appointment at the last minute. In addition to these, starting in early May has come nearly daily 100 degree heat that drains my spirit as well as physically exhausts me each day (about 1/3 of my patients have no air conditioning in their home). I can get out and exercise between 6am and 7am, but once the sun rises, combined with humidity even 78 or 80 degrees becomes oppressive when trying to be active outdoors. I have also had to take on more and more patients as my divorce draws near and I will soon lose the monthy contribution my ex- has been sending to pay mortgage, taxes, and college loans for our kids. So more and more of my time and energy is spent working, Add to this a weekly session of shopping, lunch, errands and doctor visits with my 94 yo father. My last vacation was August of 2009 and I am as "burnt out" as one can be...yet resigned to do what I must to remain independent and responsible.
So it seems like Divine intervention (something I do not really believe in)that a rival home health agency of my employer's made me an offer I could not refuse to see one of their patients who lives 45 miles southwest of San Antonio, as they could find no one on their own staff willing or able to make the trip to what is essentially the middle of nowhere. I find it humorous that the name of the nearest town is Devine, TX although I have yet to see a town or even two houses within 1/4 mile of one another when I make my visit each Friday. I do have to get up and start my work day much earlier than usual to allow for the hour's drive to my visit, but it is worth it. Devine, for me, is truly divine. Once a week, I escape the city, travel through farm and ranch lands to a magical place where eagles, hawks, vultures, cows, horses, sheep and goats vastly outnumber the human residents of the region. I have seen fruit tree groves, even a small pineapple "plantation", vegetable farms, (watermelons, onions, peppers, and tomatoes, all of which can be bred to be drought-resistant). I get to visit another world...a peaceful world...a quiet world. Since I leave so early in the morning it is not even hot until I prepare to return to San Antonio. Even if this was not an irresistible "gift" to my income (I get paid double what my own employer will pay per visit), and I donated my time, I would be more than rewarded by the brief respite, the natural beauty, the solitude, and the privilege of escaping my reality-of-the-moment, and going to a better world next door. I would not call this a religious experience, but Devine IS divine!