I believe that we have the ability to call any place "home." That "home" is more a matter of self than of location and landscape. That is not to say that I don't think that we feel more naturally in one location than we do in another; that it is easier to feel had home in this location over that. I am one of the first to admit that there are places and locations and environmental landscapes that touch us like others don't... and sometimes a place grows on us without our ever intending it to do so... and other times we fall in love with a place because of the people we come to know.
There are some that identify themselves with the land - whether it be the mountains, the farm lands, or the oceans. My daughter's aunt thrives near the ocean; it is where her heart lives. My dad is pure mountains no matter how much he has started to complain of the cold in his advancing years. I am the American southwestern desert - the Tucson desert to be exact as not all deserts are created equally. This is not to say that I don't find the power of the ocean beyond amazing or that sitting on the top of a high mountain isn't one of the most amazing feelings. It is simply that there is a part of me that is drawn to the colors of the desert. It is that wilderness that dares us to try to tame it. It is that brilliant blue that reaches to touch the earth; and, it appears that we could actually find where the two meet. It is the darkness lit by millions of stars and a silence that isn't silent but is... wild.
I suppose that we expect mystery and depth when we think of forests or mountains or oceans - but when we think of the desert, we think that it is exactly what it appears to be; dry, colorless, and hot. It appears to lack depth or substance; it appears to lack life.
And yet, it is passion and mystery and color. It is life and adaptiveness and complex simplicity.
And this is an odd post but the reality is that my grandmother passed away a few hours ago meaning that my family is no longer directly connected to one of the places that most deeply touches my heart - the desert. After over a century of calling the desert our home, there is no one left, from my family, to celebrate its beauty. My grandmother passed in peace with my uncle by her side. She, as my other family members that have gone before, will now rest in the midst of the desert - surrounded by nature, passion, beauty, depth, and peace of a different kind.