This is not the usual/wannabecool/”adventurous travel” post that I tend to throw on here. However, it’s probably just as pretentious and annoying, so let’s just go with it…
I now live in a small town.
Thinking back on what I had previously considered a small vs big town, it was always very idealized: “San Francisco” “Madrid” “Paris” “Barcelona””Somewhere Foreign” “Blah Blah Blah” “Capitalized Letters” “People Will Think It Is Cool?”
So Phoenix is an enormous town…it is a huge city….it is so much more than I understood it to be growing up. And I lost something for a long time not understanding its enormity. However, recently, the destructive element and enormity of Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun has become so blatantly obvious and (for me) overwhelmingly stifling that I cannot, will not, and am not, living there anymore. I always knew my childhood home had a large population, but the implications of living in a place so hot that when your seatbelt scalds you, you just shrug and walk across your plush green lawn to your choline pool to sooth the burn with some ice water inside your air-conditioned home…are now hitting me real hard
So, it’s time to leave. As much as the smells of the desert rain and the cactus wren making its nest in the blooming spring saguaros will always make me happy, that reality simply cannot exist anymore…not for me, and soon, not for the millions who live there.
Okay, this rant is (mostly) over, because I do want to share the praises for my current delightful little town. I now live in northern Arizona in a town of less than 40,000. Water will always an issue, and increasingly so in the coming years of a drier, hotter, and harsher climate. But beyond that, small towns like where I live now will be a commodity in the future. With more people, less land, extreme weather, and the lack of options to deny changes in a changing world, little towns like mine will be flooded with new people….oh I forgot! I wasn’t going to rant anymore!! Shucks, I lied….
What a dilemma! I left a massive sprawling metropolis–which will have no place to exist as it does in the coming years– for the quality of a small, mild-mannered town…yet it is on the precipice of an influx of migrants from such climate disaster areas like the one I just left just to the south. And many of whom we will personally know.
I struggle between extremes: pessimism and hope. Tell me, how do you feel?