I never imagined I’d end up here.
My whole life, I wanted to live someplace exotic. Someplace different. Maybe domestic, maybe foreign. But not necessarily here.
I thought I’d live someplace green, and perhaps abroad. Nothing quite so exotic as an ex-pat, right?
I was born in Alabama, and I lived there until I was eight. When I was in third grade, we moved to the desert. It was my first exposure to dry, brown hills, to a barren landscape that, when seen in the right light, looks like it could be on the moon.
Growing up out here, I missed fireflies and magnolias. I missed rain and sultry summer nights. I missed the moist heat of the deep South. In many ways, I still do.
I’m sure I’ve romanticized it in my head. I’m sure that, if I left the high desert, I would miss it too.
There are things about the high desert that are fascinating. Sure, it’s not very often that I see swirling mist and feel the sense of mystery I alway get every time I see the fog. With 300 days of sun a year, it’s not very often that I feel a gentle rain on my face. Although when it does rain, I certainly do, mostly because I don’t even own an umbrella.
But there are things about the high desert that are intriguing, things I would probably miss if I were to leave.
Dry, barren hills glow golden at sunrise and sunset. Coyotes howl under the light of the moon, and even here, in the suburbs (and just a few blocks from Costco), I can hear them howling at night when the wind is right. There’s something eerie about the sound, something vaguely sinister or ghostly.
Desert lakes reflect the bright blue of an azure sky better than any other body of water I’ve ever seen. And the night sky…. Well, I’ve never seen stars as clearly as I see them here.
I don’t feel like this is MY place–it’s never been mine. It was always my parents’, and I stayed here because of happenstance. But just because I know it’s not mine doesn’t mean I wouldn’t miss it if I ever leave.
If you had the choice of places to go, would you stay where you are, or would you leave? And if you could choose anywhere in the world to live, where would it be?