I’ve coming to the desert for 20 years, now. Tucson has taken it’s place in my heart as a home. And, anyone that knows me, well, knows that home is my heart.
I’m sitting at a desk, in the room I don’t usually stay in, in my parents home situated in the foot hills. My view is fixed on the valley, the mountains behind, and the tall long armed saguaro cactus right in front of me. This is the the room my grandpa always stayed in. The room that belongs to our dear friends who, for 15 years, have traveled here with us. And, the room that I holed up in with Liam Brave, 3 months old, inconsolable. Nursing wouldn’t calm him and for some, hormonal, reason it made me sick to my stomach and with thoughts of panic, every single time I fed him. This room is more than a room.
I brought all my babies here. Spent sick days, huge and pregnant, here. My first had her first birthday here. We were here on that dreadful day in September 2001. Awakened by a call from my Dad, and rushed to wake our friends. We watched the news, cried, and prayed. Tucson might be the strongest tradition my kids have had. This southwest sky will, no doubt, paint the colors of childhood in their memory. This place will always be my heart because it was where family was family. Beginnings of my babies, forever friendships fostered, special times with siblings, precious time with parents…..a place they had for themselves, always with the intention to share with us. This house is more than a house.
I’m sitting in my grandpa’s room. Jeremy and Jenny’s room. Mine and Stephen’s room. Begging my eyes to trace and memorize those mountain tops. The foothill out the window. The other across the street. The valley that lights up at night, like a million fireflies and that never sleep. The grand, strong, jagged, and rocky mountains behind that remind me where my help comes from. And, that whisper, “Faith the size of a mustard seed, Trina. Faith the size of a mustard seed.” I’ve mustered the mustard size faith in low times. And, in high times thought my faith was taller than those cactus covered mountains. Here, I believed for as many things as there are moments. Trading all my Tucson time for believing, really. The prickly truth is that not every prayer has been answered the way I wished. Brought to pass the way I believed it best. While I’ve tried to hold on to many promises and let them hold me, I’m also getting a lifetime of a lesson in letting go. These mountains are more than mountains.
I look, again, to the mountains, majestic and never moving. Every time I return, year after year, they stand the same. The sky, though, ever changing. Winds blowing through. Sunsets purple today. Pink tomorrow. Clouds coming this week. Sun, yesterday, and, so they say, coming soon. That southwest sky is life. Stormy. Silent. Sublime. Surreal. The mountains my faith. My foundation. They stand. Through it all, I’ll stand too. Wind blowing right through me. These skies are more than skies.
Tucson you are me, even starting with a “T.” You are treasure. You are time. You will always be, partly, mine. I have found life in your desert. And, in my deserts, you have been life. This desert is more than a desert. This is life.