Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Home Sweet Home, and Arizona

When I wake up to a snow covered lawn in the middle of April, I try not to say anything--at all. I know it will melt quickly, I know it won't last forever. I can't help but think of Arizona's warm air in my lungs and sun on my back. The girls and I took a trip to Scottsdale this winter, just the three of us to soak up some of that good stuff, how I miss it now.

We really had a great time, except that Tori became quite sick once we got there. While we didn't spend as much time poolside as we had originally planned, but the purpose of the trip was fulfilled and girl-time was certainly maximized. One of my favorite memories of the trip was a simple walk to get Tori out in the sun and feeling better. We started with the hotel grounds, taking pictures. Then we moved on to the nearby neighborhood and admired the very different (from Utah) landscaping and architecture of the homes. Eventually we decided to test the limits and went for a drive to see the LDS Mesa Temple.

We used to live in Mesa when it was just the three of us. Every Saturday night we would go to the Temple grounds and watch the Arizona sunset behind the peaceful building. We brought blankets and pillows, and though the girls were small they somehow offered reverence here. I remember breathing deeply and wondering how things would turn out for us. This was a healing place for us then, when we needed it. And now, as we returned some 10 - 15 years later, it was again. Reverence was there between us, the sun was setting, and Tori was feeling better.

I love that my family moved to Mesa back in 1990 from Seattle. While I appreciate the beauty and climate of the great Northwest, there is something that will always bring be back to the warmth of the valley. Our family visits are often at parks or trails. Even Thanksgiving dinner has often been at a hiking trail where the little kids could roam. There is so much to do outdoors there, and so much to love. I know the desert can come across as baron and desolate to some, but I connect with it. I miss it.

Maybe one day I will return for good. Tori swears she will live there as soon as possible. I hope she can. For now, we bloom where we are planted come snow or rain or (hopefully soon) sun. We soak up the goodness that Utah has to offer, love the people, enjoy the experience, and make the most of it. As much as our trip to Arizona was wonderful and warm, it was still better to be home in the closeness of our family and the life and love we have built together here. Home Sweet Home.

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