Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Real Deal

In so many “mommy blogs” the stunning photographs and whimsical little anecdotes all seem to tell the same story: My family is so beautiful and my life is so wonderful. There are never any blips on our radar and we move in a landscape of neverending joy and inspiration… but this is a ruse.

You don’t have to be a very astute observer of the human experience to recognize that real life involves more than just hitting the high notes. It has been a long time since I studied music theory but if I remember correctly there are not only low notes, but sharp ones as well.

So I was not surprised to find that several people, friends who have known me through many trials, wrote in response to my September post to ask, is this really true? Do you really love where you live?

To these I very humbly offer the following addendum:

I am a traditionalist by nature. I like to wear sweaters and drink coffee, warm; and leaves that change color in the fall; and pumpkins and Christmas trees and trees that grow up tall in my backyard. I am an ocean and not a mountain girl.

But I live in the desert where fall comes on late and lasts only an instant (Saturday's high was 103); where instead of trees, Agave and golden barrel and saguaro cacti greet me when I walk outside my door; where lizards and snakes, coyotes and quail, jack rabbits and bobcats (really) and stink bugs and javelina all run wild in my neighborhood.

By 7 o’clock in the morning it is so bright you would swear it was 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

But this is where I live.

And where I live is beautiful. And I really do love it.

Besides, if we always get exactly what we want in life then we miss out on a lot of the adventure. Wasn’t it Marcel Proust who said, “The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes?”

Arizona is where God has planted me. And as a seed I can either settle in and absorb the nutrients or (mad suicidal effort) kick away the soil. I spent too much time trying the latter anyway and discovered it is a wasted effort.

It may be warm, but there is so much – like the sky and the mountains and the light of early mornings – that is spectacularly beautiful. Besides, as this picture so perfectly illustrates, no skies are cloudless … there is always something obscuring the view.

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