Ahh yeeeahhhhh...this is it.
Flying westbound, in from Africa via the east coast to the glorious Southwest I call home. Three days of planes, trains, automobiles, the plague, etc..
Shortly before dusk, the golden glow of a soon-to-set sun showcasing the terrain below.
Finally, there they are. I spot the rugged peaks and ridgelines I know. Vast open terrain. Over northern New Mexico now. I know these parts. Georgia Okeefe's masterpieces are just below. I'm in seat 1A, on the southern side, of course, always insisted upon, as gotta catch the magical light of this western sky and setting sun over these mountains, the dark pinon spotting the landscape, and more importantly the lack of buildings and roads for as far as the eyes can see. It's all calling me home, like a magnet, the high alpine lakes, the dry river beds, the fault lines the volcanic topography, me.
I can smell it, can feel it, can hear it.
Crisp, pungent, quiet.
This place is almost as vital to me as clean water and nutrients. I run dry and vague when w/out for too long, but just one sight, one sniff, one shot, I'm back and ready.
Perfect timing...we just banked left. One more right bank then straight line to PHX from here.
Then only one more short flight to go...a mere hop, skip and jump up the Mogollon Rim to FLG, from where I'll hop in the ol' truck, take a dirt road down home (never turn down free dirt if it's an option!), with the windows down, then back down the canyon to the casa. But I'll be in no rush. Maybe I'll get home in an hour. Maybe in a day. Or two. The truck is ready. I am ready. Just windows down, breathing it all in, that clean distinctive northern Arizona air.
Yep, it's almost too much for me...the views, the crisp air on my skin, the pungent scent...overwhelmingly intoxicating. Overwhelmingly home.