Sense of Place : Yuma, Arizona, My Home

Aug 7, 2013

I am the fourth generation in my maternal family living in Yuma, Arizona. I was born in Yuma and have lived here all of my life. I definitely consider Yuma my home because I have been to many other places and nowhere feels quite the same to me. Being in other places I feel out of place. In Yuma I know my surroundings and I know I am home.

    


Living in Yuma for nineteen years, I have come to know about my town. Yuma was originally inhabited by the Colorado River Indian tribes; the Quechan and the Cocopah. In the 1700’s, the Spanish came and settled near Indian Hill in Yuma, Arizona. The Indians then massacred the

Yuma, Arizona
For so long I have
Lived in the desert to see
The Beauty in it

Spanish settlers whom remained gone for some time. In the early 1800’s, Mexicans resettled in the area alongside the native peoples. In the mid 1800’s, white settlers came into the area. The U.S. Army established Fort Yuma around the time of the California Gold Rush. In the late 1800’s, farming developed in Yuma. At the turn of the century irrigation was developed.

I drive around blasting my country music and get weird looks for it but I do not care because that is who I am. I love driving down county roads and avoiding crazy traffic. I do not like big cities because I despise all of the traffic. I also love the smell of the dust in the air when I drive down a dirt road which most people do not. I can drive just out of town and see nothing but desert land and cacti, which I love.

A dominating feature of the west is its aridness, particularly Yuma because it is in the Sonoran desert. Being in the desert, Yuma always has beautiful weather. I can always tell when it is going to rain just by looking at the sky and the smell in the air. It does not rain much in Yuma, but when it does it is amazingly beautiful. After it rains, when I go outside, it is beautiful and one of my favorite smells.

It gets very hot in the summer but I do not mind because I love to swim. Swimming is good exercise and relaxes me. It makes me feel as if I am weightless. Winter, on the other hand, is a completely different story. I get cold very easily because I am small, but everyone else always exclaims how beautiful Yuma is in the winter. I complain I am cold, but Yuma winters are beautiful compared to most other places.

I have even lived in a different house in Yuma, and despised it. I love my current residence, and I do not think I could live anywhere else. No other place in the world could ever take the place of my home. It is the only one that I remember. My current house is my home and always will be.

For me, home is not just where you live. Home is where you can go and have no worries in the world. I can go anywhere else in the world, but Yuma will always be my home. Like Judy Garland said, “There is no place like home.” I am a firm believer in this quote because I know, first hand, it is true.

Biography of Cyrena Jackson

I was born in the West and have lived here all of my life. Being born in Yuma, Arizona I have come to admire the beauty of the West that most people can not see. For example, the desert, most people think negatively of the desert; however, I love the desert because it is my home. As for my education, I am planning on completing all of my General Education courses at Arizona Western College then transferring to Northern Arizona University in Yuma to go through the Nursing Program. Some interesting facts about me are that I am an only child and I have a mini lop rabbit named Hank.