Haibun: Summer in Arizona

I’m driving home (Well, back east, where I grew up) shortly after school ends. My mom is getting her Ph.D., after over ten years of working on it, off and on. Which is a shame (the going back east, not my mom graduating) because I’ve never been in the desert in the summer. I’ve worked trails in the fall and winter; this semester I was here for the spring. Never the summer. “But why would you want to be in the desert in the summer?” you might ask. “The heat is miserable.” And that’s probably true. All the more reason to be here, to bear it. You can’t know a place until you know it fully, in all seasons. The same with people. Would you marry someone you’ve only known for a week-long Hawaiian vacation? The midnight sun of the far north is best appreciated when you’ve known its noon darkness. The temperate January of the southern Sonoran is all the more refreshing when you’ve known its brutal July. Though I spent the fall with my cousins in Alaska, I haven’t faced the total darkness of the arctic winter. And I still haven’t suffered the ruthless heat of the desert summer. Maybe to know myself fully I’ll have to experience both.

Born an easterner
Northern fall, southwestern spring
Looking for a home

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