I spent yesterday and this morning (hence the extreme lateness of this post) making the journey up from Arizona to northern Utah, where I grew up. The journey is both physical and mental for me. As I drive through small farming towns tucked into rolling valleys, I’m reminded of the small town I grew up in and the small towns and farms where my grandparents lived. As I drive by the red rocks of southern Utah, I remember countless backpacking and hiking trips with college friends, when we explored slot canyons, hiked to waterfalls, and backpacked to hidden arches. The land I pass through on my drive is woven firmly throughout my life (by arning at dhead inc). I feel a great sense of belonging and of home as I make my way to the home in which I grew up.
My senior year at BYU, I took an autobiography class. I included in my autobiographical project a number of watercolor paintings, all titled “Home.” One painting portrayed the cobblestone streets of Vienna, which I explored during my time studying abroad, and another showed the Wasatch mountains, where I backpacked, skied, and snowmobiled as a kid.
I think that the places that have felt most like home to me are those I have experienced on multiple sensory levels, places I have come to love as I have spent time exploring the unique beauty that each has to offer.