While going through photos to upload to Facebook of our old Medieval club college days, I ran across this photo. I would walk up to Rock Canyon Park as one of my routes of frequent walks with Lydia as a baby. I miss those meandering walks, but even more I miss the mountains. I forget how much they affect me, until something reminds me, such as a picture. I grew up in Salt Lake City, and so the mountains were always there, but they were just that - there as a back drop. I grew up in the middle of the valley, where the mountains often looked like two dimensional painted cardboard backdrops - beautiful, but distant to myself. In college, in Provo, I truly began to love the mountains. In Autumn the first signs of the changing season were seen in the mountain foliage. First on Mount Timpanogos, then creeping across the mountains down through Provo the reds and oranges crept in among the green. In November the small mountain behind the temple - seen between the two larger ones, would always fill up with snow first, and could be seen between its somber companions as a spot of white. (You can't see the small mountain here, but it's right behind the Temple.)
In March the mists came down, and made Provo feel like the Scottish Highlands.
I always knew where I was in the world, with the mountains beside me. Multiple times in my college career I came to the mountainside in the evening, and watched Utah Valley's city scape while pondering life's questions. Even while living in a city, I still felt a part of nature by seeing it daily above me.
I love aspects of other areas I've lived. When I first moved to Wisconsin, I still remember the rush of wonder when I saw my first purply twilight. I had read of twilights in books, but always took them for authors' fancies, in the same league as snow always on Christmas Eve, and neighborhoods with childhood activities reminiscent of the Little Rascals. Then, on that country twilight evening, I realized that outside of Utah, outside of mountains that obscured the setting sun, twilight was more than a literary device, but an actual, poignant event. Egypt had the Mediterranean Ocean, viewable from my balcony. England had such high levels of picturesque that I felt every sight better belonged on a postcard. Columbus has rain, which I'm enjoying even this very evening. Virginia had thunderstorms that would shake the house for hours in their fury, a wildness I delighted in with every crack and flash of light.
But I shall never forget my mountains. If I never live in Provo again, it will always be the guardian of my heart, for my heart is held within its walls of stone.