I live in a valley. I am surrounded by mountains on all sides, and I have lived here my whole life. I visit other states. I've seen corn fields, places where there are so many trees you can't tell you're in a city, and states with lakes so large you can only see across them if the day is clear. I like other states, I love traveling, but every time I leave I long to be back in the mountains.
The mountains aren't looming over my head. I don't live at the foot of them. It takes me fifteen minutes to drive to them, so I am not far, but I am not right under them either. I live in a prairie. I can go out and stand in a field of yellow grass and watch as it bows to the constant wind. I like to stand, surrounded by grass, and watch the mountains rising up in the distant.
There is something about mountains. They hold a secret kind of majesty. Clouds settle over them, the sun shimmers down and casts long shadows. Storms roll off them, snaking down into the valley like a monstrous beast coming to devour us whole. And I can stand and watch it all. It is almost like watching a play, actors on a stage, telling a story.
Mountains inspire me. The crisp wind, the smell of pine and leaves. I go hiking, scaling rocks and hiking through the thick trees. When fall arrives I like to go for long drives and look at the yellow and orange leaves of the aspens. Whenever I can I will wade into the icy cold lakes which are really nothing more then ponds of melted snow.
Maybe it isn't really the mountains I love, but the fact this is my home. I have lived here for so long I understand it. I know when light grey clouds roll in just before bed I will wake up to snow on the ground. I know if I go camping during our brief summers there will be snowbanks where I can have a snowball fight with my brothers. I know where the best rock climbing places are, where you can stand and feel like you are on top of the world. I've spent most of my life running through the trees, dodging under branches, climbing trees and dropping pine cones on the heads of siblings as they pass underneath. I've gone swimming in muddy swamps because they were there and I had little cousins begging me to join them. I've sliced my feet open on twigs and stabbed them on pine needles. I've gone camping in the pouring rain, and spent the day in it spying on family members who thought it would be more fun to sit under a tent flap then brave the wet.
Winters here are long and bitterly cold. I've learned how to bundle up, learned the importance of wool socks and good snow boots. I am used to only having a month or two of summer, of squeezing in every possible summer activity one can in that short of time. I've learned the best places to sit when there is a fire blazing in the fireplace. I've learned how to cut wood and lug it into the house when there is five feet of snow outside in the middle of May.
We are all attached to our homes, no matter where they might be. They inspire us in ways we might never understand. There is something special about God's creation, but the creation we always see around us has a way of endearing itself in our hearts. All the places I have gone and plan to, a part of me will always long to come back and stand on top of the highest rock I can climb to.
There, a bit of sentimentality for over the weekend.
The quote this time is both 12 and Clara.