Reflections of Tucson Cactus to Concreteby Tyler Woods on Feb. 28, 2010, under Life
I am moving! That’s right! After living mid-town for many decades, I am giving it up to live in the country. I can no longer take the sound of the planes rattling my windows day and night nor the trains banging and booming at all hours. I am tired of gunshots and sirens. Yep, it is time to leave the city and head to more simple desert living. No longer will Blockbuster, Fry’s, and a variety of food chains be at my back door. I am heading out to live on a piece of land with horses and goats and chicken on the far east side where the beautiful cacti reaches towards to Tucson sky, and desert landscaping envelopes…wait, wait a second, am I describing Tucson, hmmmm this has got me thinking….
Thirty years ago Houghton Road was a beautiful vista of cactus and stunning fields of desert flowers that lay against the background of beautiful mountains and blue skies. Not a soul in sight except for a few stables.
As a teen and young adult I used to drive all around that desert. There was nothing around except for a few desert critters and others like myself trying to find some peace and quiet. It was my desert oasis. It was why I loved Tucson so much.
The desert along Houghton as well as going up Irvington was simply Magical. Sadly other people wanted the magic so little by little they plowed down the cacti, destroyed the desert, could have cared less about the critters and complain about them and replaced it all with concrete. The closest thing people have for cactus and desert foliage is what they get at their local nursery or Wal-Mart.
Assortments of pop-up communities are being built all along Houghton Road. There is not much desert left, just a memory of where I was raised used to be. Irvington has become a trailer park way with rows and rows of prefab homes built atop of an old land field. What once used to be a nice chunk of desert on Irvington is now a golf course. They replaced natural cactus for green grass in the middle of the desert that requires lots of something Tucson no longer has—water.
I suppose I might sound angry. I am not, just observant. I miss the place I called home once upon a time ago when Tucson was a small town in the middle of a large desert. Today it is a big city simply built in the desert. Us natives I am sure share a sadness of what once was.
I reflect about the wonderful desert I was raised in, and know one day I will need to leave because Tucson will no longer be a desert at all but simply an industry of concrete buildings. To top it off, I have noticed people are building closer and closer to the mountains. I am sure no doubt our wonderful mountains will be the next to go all in the name of a good view.
I miss Tucson and am left shaking my head asking myself what happened to my desert. I am glad that where I am heading, is out a ways and I can pretend my desert still surrounds me.