Friday, July 23, 2010

Day Fourteen -- Mountains

Anyone who has flown into Phoenix would recognize the mountain in the photo above as Camelback Mountain. My childhood was spent with this mountain as a backdrop from my family's kitchen windows. It's one of the most famous landmarks in the Phoenix area and was the reason I knew which way was north. It was a great reference point.

I lived in Tennessee for a while and I really missed the mountains. Tennessee had many wonderful things that I still miss to this day including change of seasons, autumn leaves, greenery, lots of rain and more. But, the biggest sweeping vistas in Nashville were the tops of the trees.
Now I live in Tucson and the photo above and below are views of the Santa Catalina Mountains. I think Tucson has some of the most beautiful mountain scenery anywhere and I would miss it very much if I were to move. I think of the mountains as the backdrop of the stage where my life plays out.

Not a day goes by that I don't see these mountains and interpret the mood of the day from them. Bright, clear, not-a-cloud-in-the-sky days I hate. The unrelenting sunshine can be as depressing as always being under grey skies and the mountains fade to a very dull color with no shadows to highlight their shape.

And despite my constant whining each summer about the heat, the monsoon rains and the mountain's differing personalities make me happy to live here.
My favorite time of year for a happy mountain mood is the summer when the monsoon clouds blow in and the mountain is sculpted by the shadows of those clouds on the rocks. The sun isn't as blazing hot, the temperatures cool off, winds bring strong breezes and the smell of rain is in the air. The mountains add a lot of drama to this area and their beauty makes Arizona a wonderful place to live.

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