Although I was raised in Utah, the ruggedness of this place has never been my favorite. I'm a phytophyll, a hydrophyll, I love lots of greenery and big trees and lush flowers and rivers and lakes and rain. If I could pick anywhere in the states to live based off of physical features alone, New England and western Washington state would win hands down. My favorite foreign experiences are definitely influenced by the amount of foliage and water- which means that Russia and Morocco were not my favorites.
But all that aside, there is a lot to be said for the stark majesty found in my Utah mountains, which I am quite fond of. I had a few experiences this week that kind of drove that home to me.
For example, on Wednesday evening, I went on a spur-of-the-moment drive up Emigration Canyon with my neighbors from downstairs, Dan and Marcos. The Canyon is about a ten minute drive from our apartment building, and offers great views of the Salt Lake Valley, Summit County, and any number of craggy and beautiful mountain peaks along the way.
Thursday, I drove down to Provo for a meeting of Josh's poetry club, the Curiously Poetic Altoids (so named because it is based out of Alta apartments), and we headed to Rock Canyon Perk to write our poetry. Something about the stillness of the evening, all the while threatening to rain, and the close proximity of Squaw Peak and Cascade mountain, lit up by the setting sun, did a lot to put me in a contemplative mood and actually write some poetry. I'd been afraid of a serious case of writer's block earlier in the evening.
Tonight, while attending the Utah Arts Festival with some kids from my ward, I got to watch a huge thunderstorm roll in over the mountains while listening to a pretty decent country band. As they said, the light show was free, and boy was it spectacular. Something about watching the clouds curl and caress the mountains has always made my heart ache a little, in a kind of a longing way. It's something so beautiful and so far away- unreachable.
So, I love my Utah mountains. Although I'm not planning in living in Utah indefinitely, I do think I'm lucky to have spent so much time here, despite its lack of ideal characteristics. The beholder looks, and sees the beauty of the place. And is content for now.