Flying in from Michigan on Sunday I watched out the plane window for the first glimpse of the Cascade Range. It never fails to make me happy. Even when we are flying in to Seattle and not Portland so I'm more likely to see Rainier than Hood. My favorite is flying in to Portland on a clear day and seeing Hood to Sisters and beyond. All in a row. Volcanic mountain to volcanic mountain.
Even when it's cloudy, like it was on Sunday, the tops of the mountains often are above the cloud line. So you have a sea of white cotton clouds and then the peaks of the mountains. Always a little snow or ice on them, they still have glaciers though they are getting smaller each year.
I don't know why it makes me so happy. I don't know why I try to capture a picture almost every time. I don't know why I nudge Brent to look as soon as the first one comes in view.
Wait...I do know why.
Because it's home.
I say it all the time. We live in a beautiful part of the country. I love the Pacific Northwest. We have trees and waterfalls and mountains and valleys and the ocean and in the Fall the leaves are gorgeous. I was actually disappointed when Christopher was in college in Vermont and we were there in the Fall one year. I had heard how spectacular their leaves were and they were...well...okay. Mostly one color. Which can be pretty. But when you are used to getting orange and yellow and red and purple all on one street, not even having to hike out anywhere, it's a little bit of a let down.
Flying in to New Mexico I am always happy to see the Sandias. Sometimes I'm shocked at how green the Rio Grande Valley is, or how brown, depending on weather. But I'm rarely struck by how pretty it is. One time flying out at sunrise I got good shots of the mountains at their best. Because I do love the mountains. Albuquerque gets great sunrises and sunsets. But other than that it's mostly just miles and miles of browns. I'm usually bracing myself for the bad landing, a lot of crosswinds, and then whatever is going to come next after we get off the plane. Being the black sheep means a lot of tongue biting and a lot of letting it slide. Things I'm not really great at, but I do it when I'm home to keep the peace.
And I say home in referring to New Mexico out of habit. Because it's where I come from. Michigan is Brent's home. We go back home for visits and for football, depending on the time of year and the state. But it's different, going back home versus coming home.
Flying in and seeing the Cascades, that's coming home.
I live here. I raised my child here. I feel like I belong here. Something about it speaks to me.
And that first site of a volcano above the clouds...it's home.