Usually when I think or talk about where I’m from, it’s with a condescending fondness. Like how you say something kind of mean about someone and follow it with “bless his/her heart” as if that cancels out the meanness somehow.
It’s not kind or fair for me to think of it that way. Because yes, it is small and often ugly, but sometimes it looks like this:
And then I forgive it for all its shortcomings and am proud to consider it home.
(Side note: Is it any wonder that monsoon season in northern Arizona is one of my favorite things ever? Sunsets like this EVERY DAY. It’s breathtaking. This photo really doesn’t do it justice [though it is accurate: no color retouching or enhancement included]. Tempe monsoons just can’t compare.)