Today marks fifteen years that I’ve been in Arizona. That’s a helluva thing.
I suppose to a huge extent that I’m really a very lucky man. Many people go through life wondering and questioning where they should be, but I’ve been able to solve that. The first time I came to Arizona to visit, I knew that this was where I should be, no doubts at all. This place felt like home.
It isn’t just that my friends and the life I’ve created for myself are here, either. There’s a sense of comfort for me in that I’ve had the opportunity to watch the city grow around me and become something greater than it was when I got here. I feel very protective of it in that way. Many cities back east are constrained by their borders, never again having the opportunity to aspire outwards, merely upwards. Yes, at certain times moving outwards has inspired some bad urban sprawl here, but for the most part, this big, beautiful valley finds ways to include instead of exclude.
Then you move beyond our city and you see the rest of the state, and you know why I’ve never left. Stunning mountains and mesas. Rich, thick forests. Beautiful lakes and rivers. Arizona isn’t just a stark desert hotland; it is an enormous full ecosystem stacked at multiple elevations. You need not drive far to find snow in the winter (if you like that sort of thing), or if you live in the north, you can find warm sun in the winter when you’re tired of freezing. Plus you get the added bonus of a marvelous multi-culture thanks to our proximity to Mexico, and suddenly you realize how boring the Midwest really is. You can’t get a decent flauta in Indiana.
So here I remain. In the end, I may be here alone, but you’ll find me. I’ll be sitting on top of Camelback Mountain, basking in the glory of what God has created, looking at his works and despairing that nothing I create shall ever be as lovely as this place where the lone and level sands stretch far away.