My first glimpse of Paradise zooms back
[The prompt for Day Two — Writing 101. “If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?”]
Now that is an easy assignment that took absolutely NO thought. The question did indeed have the “zoom” effect. My place that my inner image brings up is as much a place as it is a time, and a concept, a memory. Perhaps it has to do with a past life experience, or a memory from the Akashic Records. My site is like walking into a dream, the kind that features the doorway that opens to reveal a huge pastoral scene.
By way of background, the story starts out as pretty mundane. It was 1960. My soldier husband has just returned from Korea, and with our three-year-old daughter we are heading for a new army base — Fort Huachuca, in Arizona. We have packed up our 38-foot mobile home and set off across the country from Ohio. Not exactly a covered wagon, but a similar concept.
We got as far as Kansas…and had a flat tire on the trailer. We were driving along a highway, heading West, surrounded on both sides by very tall corn fields. Every several miles there was a grain elevator operation, near a cross-road, where we had a brief glimpse of a town in the distance–but otherwise it just looked like someplace out of Stephen King’s horror flick, Children Of the Corn.
After limping along on the tire, we did manage to head for one of the little towns. So help me, it reminded me of one of those old movie sets where the little town has sprung up along both sides of the road, and a few businesses existed–a gas station, garage, restaurant, motel, sheriff’s office, grocery store–until the town just…ended. OK, I suppose there were some signs of habitation, but they have been crowded out of my memory.
To cut to the chase, the garage people were able to fix the tire enough so we could continue on our way the next day. There was some vital mechanical part that was not available in the town and had to be brought in from somewhere else.
We drove to the next big city…I have no idea what city it was, but it was large enough to have at least one mobile home sales place, and we bought a spiffy new 10-foot wide, 50-foot long trailer home. Since we were a long way from home, on a very limit budget, the purchase required some communication with our parents back in Ohio to help with the financing arrangements. We had to stay in the city for I think four days until that was all settled. But soon enough we were back on the road–not pulling the new mobile home, which was too large, and had to be delivered to us in Arizona.
HOME AT LAST… and here comes the point of this tale.
We got to Sierra Vista, which was the little army town that had grown up around Fort Huachucha, late at night. It was very dark.
In the morning, the sun had come up (it’s Arizona, after all 🙂 and the Huachuca Mountains were glorious! The desert was in bloom, and I thought I was in Paradise for sure.
The actual idealistic picture as portrayed by my feelings upon arriving in Arizona, in the Desert…among the cactus and the sand, and the typical army town trailer park where we lived…has blended into a fabulous panorama fixed in my mind over the 55 years since I discovered southern Arizona. We lived in Sierra Vista until 1961, then moved to Tucson, 85 miles to the north.
One of my great joys in life is the first sight of the Catalina Mountains when I arrive at the Tucson airport, coming in over the mountains from Houston, Texas, along the southern route. It always makes me feel that I have come Home.
When I mentioned that I believe that I “belong” in the desert, my friend told me that is because I am a “desert rat.” I told her I had more in mind a past life as a beautiful Indian princess.