Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The mountains

Before I was even thinking of moving to California and complained to someone in Indiana about how flat it was, they said, "Nah. When you don't have mountains around, you appreciate them better when you are on vacation."

Although I disagreed at the time, I wondered if this could be true and I carefully considered it. Sure, if you lived near mountains you might take them for granted, but at least you'd still see them every day. If you wanted to see some, you could LOOK! If you wanted to see them in Indiana, you had to go away. Why couldn't I be on vacation every day?

Now that I live in an area that (finally!) has mountains, I have to agree with my first opinion that that person was dead wrong. In the year that I've lived here I have not once taken the mountains for granted. I love looking at them as I drive, as I relax in my house, as I am at work. I never get tired of seeing them. Nor, do I take them for granted.

Part of this is because they look different from day to day. Sometimes it is cloudy and you can't see the mountains that well. In the summer, the mountains turn brown. In the winter, they have snow on them. In the spring, they turn bright green. When you've gone through a patch of time when the mountains were too clouded to see and then you have a clear day, you rejoice at finally being able to see them so well and admire the beauty of the day even more, because you can see better at the massive feature that is so far away.

In flat Indiana, you don't get any such benefit on clear days versus cloudy ones. All one ever sees is flat, flat expanses. You see a farther expanse on a clear day maybe, but who wants to see that? I am so thankful for the mountains. And maybe that's because I lived for so long without... making that person in Indiana's opinion partly right. If I'd never been without, I might have taken them more for granted...