Thursday, August 29, 2013

Love Letter to Arizona

I skipped tonight's run because I needed to write. I feel recharged after a too-quick vacation to Arizona last weekend. Confession: Arizona has never been at the top of my list of places to go. I had done the Grand Canyon thing years ago and every year my dad goes to watch baseball spring training there while I politely refuse. All I think of are red rocks and the sun beating down on your brow.

But I am so glad I made this trip after all. Sometimes the places we remember from our childhood changes so drastically when we visit them again as adults. It's like reading a favorite book over again in that you find things that you missed the first time around.

I am not one for scenery usually (I'm more for malls and wineries), but the Grand Canyon and Sedona were breathtaking. I actually climbed out onto a ledge with my friends -- something I never would have done before. But I braved it because they were all out there to meet me and all of them held their hands out, making me feel safe. It was nice to literally sit on top of what I felt like could be the world, with no fear of falling or failing. When you look out at the vastness of the crags and the sky it is a freeing feeling.

Since coming home I haven't really felt the same. I'm a bit lovesick actually. The sun doesn't set on majestic rises of earth here. There are no cabins in the woods to retreat to. My friends have all since gone their separate ways until we meet again sometime in the near future (probably at the usual food/drink place). I wonder if I return to Arizona again if it will take on a whole other meaning and if my memories will layer over each other like rocks, and I would have to dig deep to unearth those genuine feelings of seeing something for the first time -- and falling in love.

When packing to leave I always bring a lot of baggage, and it's funny because going home I try to bring the least amount possible. I feel like I left a lot in Arizona, and yet I feel like I am carrying a boulder on my shoulders still. I used to dream of traveling to other countries constantly. And here I am barely with the money to afford a trip to the state next door; my passport is about to expire, and I feel more and more like my time is running up.

On the long drive home we all talked about our next trip. And suddenly the road ahead didn't look so straight and narrow, ending somewhere far off. I realize now that the actual journey is far from over. The rocks, sunsets, and eateries will all still exist in other far off places, waiting for me to discover them one day. I just hope it's with the people I love.

We saw the World's End our first night in Arizona. The film reminds me now of how I can get nostalgic about places and friendships. I like to think we conquered the world a bit last weekend. When you hold out your hand for another person and are willing to let go of the things weighing you down, you realize the end isn't near, and you may in fact be standing at the beginning of something. I'm so glad I got another chance to experience this place, and I vow to never cross anything off my list prematurely again. You never know what you might find in the place you never thought to look.

I hope everyone had a wonderful summer!


  1. Don't worry Beth... You'll get there. Those places that you are longing to see are forever stored in your heart, and yes, they aren't going anywhere. xoxo

  2. Don't worry Beth... You'll get there. Those places that you are longing to see are forever stored in your heart, and yes, they aren't going anywhere. xoxo