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Bitten by the Moving Bug This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


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Not too long ago, I was brutally bitten by the moving bug. Although I've lived in Florida my whole life, it felt like time for a change.

Don't get me wrong, my sunny home was a happy and warm place to experience childhood, and you can't find better weather. I love the shops and streets that cloak my town with memories. Palm trees watch over it protectively, and I always smile when I watch them dance to the wind's natural rhythm.

I know that my roots will always be deeply embedded in Florida's soil. That said, I feel a move coming on soon, like my grandmother can feel an approaching storm in her knees. I've always been a creature of the sunshine and I want my first move to be the smallest culture shock, so I have the perfect place in mind.

When I was in the seventh grade, my father took me to the Grand Canyon. I was forced to miss my first dance; needless to say I was not pleased. My father is a pilot, and due to the privileges of his profession, I had many experiences at an early age that most people only see in their dreams. I had viewed the mountains of Chile, the beaches of the Caribbean, and the sights of Europe, and was convinced that no other adventure existed in this half of the world. I believed there was no other sight that could touch my wonder and curiosity.

When we arrived in Arizona, the earth felt alien. The clay and jagged rock of the desert simply had no parallel, and the vast, barren land was stunning and unusual. The air smelled of clay and sand and surprisingly nothing at all. Taking a deep breath with closed eyes, the lingering scent mimicked the vacant land it represented. The Grand Canyon positively took my breath away and refused to return it. The broken earth was so open and exposed, revealing all its worth to those who can recognize the signs.

Then my father took us to our destination: Sedona, Arizona. My jaw hung wide as my gaze swept over this small clay town, so beautiful in its simplicity. No beach, mountain, or flower held even half the appeal that this unusual place had for me. My father watched with raised eyebrows, unable to believe that I could fall in love with a desert. I turned in a circle, taking in the picturesque scene with all my senses.

The old pueblos stood proudly in the middle of town. Every hue of red was there and the silence of the desert was profoundly tangible. I loved the musty yet freeing smell that enveloped me, and even the dry heat was appealing to my skin.

As much as I love Florida's tropical palms and white beaches, they pale in comparison to my adoration of the dry deserts of Arizona. Where Florida's flowers are colorful, the desert wears no mask to hide its rough features. The vulnerability and honesty of the vast hills left me with a resolved spirit and an internal promise of a hasty return.

Some people dwell in the cold comforts of snow, some in dense forests, while others prosper on soft beaches. I thrive in the desert. That trip opened my eyes to the unfamiliar nourishment that a desert provides, and I long to live under that cruel sun. Now I can only count the days until I can return to that beautiful rocky town and leave the old habits and familiar palms of Florida in my rearview mirror.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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AmnyR said...
Feb. 2, 2010 at 12:09 pm:
mmm, well written. i've been to sedona and loved it. you do a great job of describing it in enough detail without going overboard. great job!!!
 
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