This Must Be the Place
There is no place
Like this place
Anywhere near this place
So this must be the place
(Cabot’s Pueblo Museum)
We came across this poem engraved in an old wooden board deep in Desert Hot Springs and it’s stuck in my mind almost ever since. You see the southwestern desert is a devil of a place. Bare, wild land with searing temperatures in summer and freezing cold at night. The place is unyielding, lonely and brutally harsh and yet, Cabot Yerxa saw the spot in 1913 and thought it just the place for him.
I totally understand that approach. Personally, I’ve always felt a bit like a human chameleon. It could be the result of my many years of travel, or possibly a lust for experience with a touch of naivety, but I’ve always felt I was able to “fit in” no matter where I went. Travel for me has always been about opening myself to the newness of everything and blending in like a good martini to whatever place I was visiting. By the mere act of opening yourself to possibilities, you attract people, places and experiences and that’s what makes life beautiful.
So, as I sit here in the deep Smoky Mountains chilling under the fall leaves, chatting to my neighbours and sharing life histories I think “this is the place”. The cool thing is, no matter where I go tomorrow, or how long I stay there, I know that will be the place too.