There is this strange, rather surreal feeling I get when I think of returning to the southwest that I can’t really explain. It’s as if the power and mysticism of the desert scares me a little bit, perhaps because I came of age there. I know it is no longer the place of my youth since so much has changed, yet when I return, I feel haunted by a feeling it will never let me go.
Few people who were raised in other climates can appreciate what a childhood in the arid expanse of West Texas instills in you. I have a great respect for the power of the sun, the sacredness of water, and the holiness of the sand. And 40 years ago, it was still a lazy and innocent place.
I was in Tuscon a few months ago, on the very outskirts of the city where the small enclaves of homes abut the mountain side. I went for a walk alone and got lost. In many ways, I was lost in the desert a lot of my youth as well because there are miles and miles of land no one understands or bothers to visit. But it was scary beautiful and mighty.
As you travel around the southwest, you notice that