Life in the Desert Southwest

At times, I've seriously felt like one of those wagon train settlers brought to a barren land to eek out a life. It wasn't my choice at 15 to move to the desert and I cursed it almost the whole time as a foreign land, but there's something to be said about America's Desert Southwest -

I never really fit into the DC crowd (Fairfax, VA) where I grew up. Too navy-blue-suit and Colonial homes and I was Gidget - bright hair - bright colors - open vistas.

The Southwest has fit me in personality.

It's friendly. It speaks slower. It pauses to appreciate sunsets. It opens doors for others. It's not caught up in its self importance or politics. 

It simply wants an honest life, a hunk of land, and 180-degrees of sky 365 days of the year. Folks go into fanciest restaurants in shorts and tennis clothes. They enjoy winters that don't make the bones ache and summers that will weed out the weak.

It's hot. It's prickly. It has snakes and scorpions. Temperatures can reach insane heights with not a drop of rain in sight. The desert floor is littered with thorns. The sun is absolutely unrelenting. There are monsoons that pound the hard-baked ground creating floods in just minutes. And dust devils are considered a weather condition.

But that's just Her defenses.

On the other side of that, she has no winter. She colors her sky every sunrise, every sunset. She blooms in spite of the dought. She offers unending vistas and undeveloped land. When she rains, she brings the people outdoors to play in it. The desert frogs come to life after a monsoon. 

I curse Arizona a lot because fate landed me here and I'm not fond of 2 seasons, dry land, or heat, but the longer I'm a southwesterner, the more I realize there IS a homeland for those who are bigger than their cities, tougher than the suburbs, and fiercely independent.

You can be or do what you want in the West.

And (sorry NYC) but if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.