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Arizona is...

My new old Adirondack chair in skyscape with the clouds.
My new old Adirondack chair in skyscape with the clouds.
Kareena Maxwell

Arizona is…

I have been living in Arizona for one-year. From the Upper East Side of New York City to the White Mountains in Apache County, I have exchanged lifestyles and learned that when we change it is a trade off. For many days and years I longed in New York for a stoop to sit on: A place that would allow me to dream and watch and still have the portal to my home via the door behind me. I wanted to grow flowers, bushes, trees and fill my rooms with air from the trees. Since leaving the City I have kept many things the same in my life. What I have missed the most was my youngest son, Gabriel. Then a week ago he showed up and filled the deepest gap of longing with his beautiful face and quiet demeanor.

His visit was well photographed and the Arizona I have been able to show him I hope will make him want to live here. I shared the new world and spoke of nature and getting quiet so you can see who you are without all the fan fare of a busy life. I do know that he will leave and I also know that he will come back, to be with the fam. as he puts it. This new world will be here when he returns and when he drifts into city clouds and remembers the sounds of coyotes in the dark and the ravens that scan the earth for smaller birds that he will feel full inside and remember being able to keep a screen door open with the White Mountains echoing a mural against the sky no matter when he opened the door.

Arizona is so many things whether Gabriel is here or not…so this is for him…no matter where he goes Arizona will always be what it is.

Arizona is a World War ll veteran who goes by the name of Vernon, and drives through Concho at 2 miles an hour, smokes and, waves to everyone…

Arizona is spending hours at the Grand Canyon with my son, Gabriel and husband Bill. It is staring at the breath and the depth of the canyon and having no answers about its formation: It just is.

It is watching my son’s sit at a campfire on our land while they stare into the heat.

It is me tripping up the rocks, hoping that gravity doesn’t have another plan for me and not that happy that Bill took a picture of me doing that.

It is stopping off at Flagstaff and having Indian food in a hard to find restaurant and sting the vegetarian appetite.

It is holding onto Bill with the canyon behind us as the layers of time follow us from behind into our future.

It is the two of my sons, David and Gabriel, playing video games in the living room and having a hoot of a time as bros.

It is also me having the freedom in this state and this country to write what I want and publish it and have the opportunity to be at the Books n Treasures bookstore in Show Low with the owner…Yvonne.

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