I’ll be honest with you. Moving to sunny Arizona from the East coast isn’t as easy as it may seem. The landscape is so vastly different from anything that seems familiar, and living in Phoenix, I constantly I ask myself, where are all the trees? Moving out here made me realize how indelible our environments can be to our spirits. Growing up, I never thought much about the creeks and the woods near my house, and I used to long for the big open sky like I now have out West. Little did I know that my childhood landscape would haunt me, as I search out water, trees, and, yes, even winter. I still struggle with embracing the Phoenix landscape, but I did fall in love with Arizona 4000 feet above sea level. The mountains, the pine forests, the big, big sky. Our little family lived up north, in the middle of nowhere, for almost two years. That landscape haunts me, too, where there’s nothing but you and the rolling hills and the sky. No cacti, no highways, nothing between you and the land.
We travelled back up north to Prescott this weekend for a day hike in the pine forests. Both my husband and I remarked at how different the landscape was from where we were currently living, like visiting another state, another region of a huge country. We had dinner at a local pub afterwards and saw a sign in the bar area that had the word “Phoenix” on it. I remember thinking, gee, how coincidental that they have a sign of the city I used to live in. My husband thought the same, and we both laughed at how wonderfully displaced and far away we felt from home, even though we were only 2 hours away.