Has it really been five years already?
Our first year seems like just yesterday.
I can still remember the way I felt – all the sights, sounds, smells and emotions that came with our brand new relationship. And, I’m sorry to say this, but I was pretty miserable back then. I can’t help it. You were U.G.L.Y. Ugly.
You made me feel lonely and took away all my friends.
You were a foreign land, a desert to be specific.
You were so, so, so hot. And not in the good way.
You can’t deny it.
On top of all that you had too much traffic and too much crime and too much brown.
But, dear Tucson, you were patient with me.
When I was certain I would never make any friends; you provided caring co-workers and fun InterVarsity students and a nurturing church.
When I was certain I couldn’t enjoy creation as I normally did in this overcrowded dustbowl, you showed me the purple mountains at sunset, the green ocotillo in summertime, the yellow blossoms of the palo verde in spring and revealed to me the mystery and beauty of the desert.
When I was certain I was going to melt into the pavement from 110 heat you sent wonderful monsoons, air conditioning and a winter without scraping snow, cold damp toes under my shoes, or frigid winds.
And pretty soon I found myself comfortable here with you. I found myself enjoying local restaurants, local culture and local people.
I found myself feeling like you were home.
Here we are five years later and I have taught in your schools and evangelized your university and helped out your housing market and have guiltily been just another car causing traffic to back up at Grant and Alvernon.
I don’t know if we will stay here forever, dear Tucson, there are certainly things about you that I still don’t like and honestly drive me absolutely crazy. But for now, and for the near future, I am still happy to call you home.
Happy anniversary, Old Pueblo.