Autumn comes a bit later here in Arizona, my new home. But, though it was 90-some degrees again in the Phoenix area today, the Fall is indeed sneaking into the Valley of the Sun as we speak. In fact, the same fall colors you can see out your window in Connecticut, or Vermont, or Wisconsin, have been on display in the northern parts of the state, including the Grand Canyon area, for weeks. So…I’m not feeling as homesick as I expected.
I mean, if I stand at the end of my driveway, I can see an actual mountain; so I’m not exactly starving for gorgeous natural visuals. But I’m looking forward to seeing some gold and scarlet gracing the trees in my neighborhood. But, not the palm trees, I’m guessing.
Seasonal changes are obvious times to reflect on the changes and chances of our lives. especially this year, since I went through more changes than a chameleon hiding out on a Jackson Pollock painting.
Quit a job, sold a house, went through the intense last weeks of my mom’s life with her, drove all of our possessions cross-country, relocated my family to the middle of a desert. And that was just July. Why did I do it? What was I thinking? Questions like that seem to be reasonably on everyone’s minds. And my answer is, unreasonably,’ I don’t really know.’ Yes, we wanted to get out of the super-high-pressure of the east coast economy. Yes, we’d had more than our fill of humidity and winter. And, yes, it seemed that I came to the point to turn the page and find out the rest of the story. But none of those was a deciding factor.
Regardless of our illusions and desires, we have little real control of our lives. That’s a simple fact. We all get tossed on ever-roiling seas, swept along by the currents of history, driven by random and capricious tides. Sure we do stuff, build and buy stuff, love, marry, raise children and make our marks, but the world rolls on with or without our cooperation. The most logical forward motion in life seems to be to go with the flow, like corks in the stream.
Maybe going against the stream occasionally is a way of taking back some small measure of control. Or maybe I’m just going through a mid-life crisis and making crazy choices. Po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe.
But here I am, in a red state, in the west, with 100+ degree summers, scorpions, rattle-snakes and republicans. And, terrific schools, an amazing highway system, great shopping, libraries and public services. And mountain sunset vistas that’ll make your eyes pop.
I’m still not sure how I got here, and I’m still not sure what I’m gonna do with my new life…but I’m working on it.
When I put it all together, you’ll be the first to know.