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It’s not Valley of the Kings, but it’s damn close

I honor the eight-year-old me whenever I can. As a third grader in Mrs. Gutherie’s classroom, my mind was buzzing with the information that a group of diggers discovered King Tut’s tomb in 1922, the year my father and Jack Kerouac were born.

I had also just come back from my first family camping trip in Anza-Borrego State Park. The desert–its hidden promises, its buried possibilities–was borrowing into my brain. I became certain that I myself was going to become an archaeologist, barge up the Nile, lead a trip to Valley of the Kings, and discover more tombs filled with more wonderful things.

I now live in a desert town. A town remote and small enough, dry and rocky enough, and scruffy and sandy enough. It’s not Valley of the Kings, but it’s damn close. My eight-year-old self is on her third year in this most wondrous of places. Sage and slickrock and sand and showy yellow-headed collared lizards. A town that invites discoveries and finds of every variety, human and artistic. Eight-year-old me has come into the light.

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