Thursday, September 11, 2014

"You should make that thing voice activated....oh, it is, isn't it?" "I don't want to talk about it."

 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.




  1. Jim this is the most beautiful thing I have read in a really long time. You have literally just summed up everything I love about my home in the mountains. The trees. The meadows. Those odd little snow mounds that lingers in the coldest of the shade, sometimes into the middle of July. It was beautiful and it made me tear up and now I want to take a hike with you

  2. I live in a valley, too, and I feel the same way. Whenever I've been away, I'm just so happy to get that first glimpse of my mountains. They're home.

  3. I am a mountain girl too, so this was utterly lovely! Thank you for reminding me of the beauty of HOME! :-D

  4. Amen! I'll take the mountains over the beach any day. Prefer the cold and the beauty. Not much for the camping though...

  5. Mountains are glorious. I feel the same way about them. I think it would be infinitely hard to move somewhere that had no evergreen-covered slopes rising into the fog on early mornings in winter. Passing under the shade the volcano every week going to lessons (an inactive volcano, but still) and staring in awe at it's snowy slopes. Driving through the paths cut in the mountains and reveling in the beauty of the mini-waterfalls and the way the moss crawls towards the road from the rocks. There had to be something special about mountains, don't you think? After all, Jesus went to pray on mountains all the time. God met Moses and Elijah on mountains. There are a few Bible verses about how the Lord's temple will be the highest mountain in the last days... And something has to make people risk their lives to climb up K-2 and Everest and all the other tall mountains. You should come visit sometime and I'll take you hiking to a spot where hang gliders and parasailers jump off the edge.

  6. Wow. It sounds beautiful. I love the mountains. And northern trees. I love trees of any kind, but the ones up north are the best. I actually live in Texas, not to many mountains around here. Mostly just open land. But I've been on a car trip to Nashville, TN. Absolutely gorgeous. Canada is amazing too.

    But you're right about home. Where I live there are actually a lot of trees. And I adore it. My brothers and I grew up playing in the woods, climbing trees, pretending to be frontiersmen or battling the British redcoats. . . or falling into the pond. It was the best of times. I still love going for walks around twilight time and letting the smells and sounds of the trees envelope me. It's the best place in the world.
    There's this quote from Pride and Prejudice that I love: "What are men to rocks and mountains?" ;)

  7. And us Illinoisans are just standing off to the side like "LOOK! A HILL! And...another cornfield." Haha! No, in truth, I love central Illinois. It has it's days where I wanna burn it all, but when the cornfields are all brown and ready to be harvested and the sun in sinking below the horizon and you can see on for miles and miles of open's just gorgeous. And I loves it.

    *falls off train*

  8. Haha, oh my word! I just found out what your end-gif-thing is from! I've been watching Once Upon a Time and I'm watching that episode now! Hahaha, wow. That's hilarious. I think he needs to take some cravat tying lessons from Sir Percy, though.

  9. Beautiful! I grew up in a valley, but my mountains are significantly smaller than yours, and my summers much longer and hotter. :) You really painted a picture I could stand in!

  10. THIS THIS THIS. Lame, short comment, but there you go. I have to use other people's internetz, so I must be fast, but yes. This was like a BOMB of a post, you rocked it. I agree with the WHOLE FREAKING THING.


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