Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Love Letter to Sqaw Peak

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.


  1. We were there this morning, in your picture. The mountains are turning orange, with the color creeping lower and lower and just beginning to brush the tops of the highest houses on the hills. Dang. Time to get out the sweater.

  2. Oh how I miss it! I lived in Orem until I was 11 so I sort of always felt like Mt. Timpanogos was MINE. My grandma had an amazing view of it from a huge window in her living room. I watched the little mountain in front (is it supposed to be the stomach? I never really saw the girl in that mountain!) when it burned decades ago and saw the changing seasons year in and year out from that window.

  3. i miss the mountains terribly. I really love them, i love hiking, i love the smell of them. Cory and I used to take drives on sunday up the mountains and I would roll down the windows and take long deep breaths. I love how it smells up there! There are no mountaints in midland. there are no hills in midland, NONE. its just flat and flat as far as you can see. And there is no fall smell or crisp air. I miss it! When i lived in rhode islad there were no mountains either. but at least there was the ocean, and the huge abundance of trees. Boston is beautiful and all the countryside out there is delightful to drive through. I have decided midland is not to my liking nature wise and I long to move somewhere, even if its not utah, just anywhere with lots of trees and hills even if there are no mountains.

    beautiful pictures!! thanks for sharing with me!

  4. When we lived in the apartments last year, we had a beautiful view of the mountains. There I felt close to them. I especially loved the sunrises over the mountains. We can't see the mountains very well from our current home so I miss them too except I do see them daily as I drive about.