I have been in love with you since I was 10 years old, and I came to visit with my parents. I never wanted to leave. When I was told several months later, (sitting at our kitchen table on a cold Illinois day), that we would be moving here, I cried tears of happiness.
I enjoyed growing up here. I feel like you grew up with me, from a baby city to a sprawling metropolitin area. I only abandoned you when I went to college in Colorado for four years. Colorado is an inarguably pretty state, yet it only left me missing you. I craved returning to your cool winter nights, sitting outside by a fire, and your warm spring days with a desert in bloom. I even missed the summer sun, and the relief that nightswimming or monsoon storms can bring.
I do not think I love you in spite of your imperfections, but because of them. The desert can, at times, be a harsh environment... a little too hot, or a little too dry and plain-looking. That means I have to look harder for your beauty on certain days, but it doesn't take long. It is always there. A brown, seemingly dull landscape, will generally hide an interestingly-shaped cactus, or a desert plant with flowers. You may not have green, rolling hills and forests of tall trees some people have come to associate with beauty, but you radiate all the same.
Some people may connect their home with a traditional smell such as honeysuckle or roses. I desire only the smell of your creosote after it rains. There is nothing else that can calm me like this, or remind me I am where I belong.
Thank you for your magnificence.