Finding a Place called Home

From early teenhood, I yearned for the desert.

I wanted heat, dryness, cacti all around, sweeping vistas, sand dunes nearby.

Though I loved beaches, forests and water, I wanted something decidedly other – and made half baked plans to move someday during late night talks with my father.

I lived the first thirty years of my life in a coastal environment.  Webs grew between my toes.  I watched the state bird, the slug, crawl by.  The state flower seemed to be mold.  The green was pretty – all that green – that grew everywhere, including on the rubber work of too-long parked trucks, window sills, and under beds.  I couldn’t smell the rain though it was everywhere.

Tragedy hit.  The American economic downturn forced people out of their jobs, skyrocketed the prices of gas, and outsourcing was rampant.  I lost my first house, a 110 year old place that I’d thought would be home.

We went on the road, my partner and I, packing everything we owned into a Hyundai Elantra.  We lived rough in Nevada for a month and a half.  Finally, the decision was made to head south, for frost was forming on our pillow and it was bitterly cold in the Blackrock Desert.

We moved south.  Driving into Arizona, I felt an odd sense of welcome as I glimpsed my first redrock.  I began to feel at home.

We camped in a backyard, I got another job, eventually an apartment.  It was beautiful.  It was nearly home.  Hard work happened.  Lots of it.

After six and a half years we found another place – a little rowhouse, in a quiet neighborhood filled with pine trees and eucalyptus, still with a view of the Catalinas that I love so well.  There’s cactus and heat, there’s sunshine all year, I don’t miss the damp at all.  There’s monsoons in the summer and I finally know the smell of rain.

We found our home.




via Discover Challenge: Finding Your Place

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