from Reya Mellicker
Is it my turn to post? Seems like it. Also it's true that I'm somewhat overloaded with words today, so please excuse me if I butted in. OK? OK.
I loved Jo's post about falling in love with Maine. I completely understand love affairs with landscapes. Of course I'm not the first person nor by any stretch of the imagination am I the last to form such passionate connections, oh no. Currently I am completely in love with the Potomac River, for instance.
In fact, nationalism, while pure in its essence, has created so many problems in the history of our species. We love the land, the river, the mountain. We fall passionately in love. We ARE the landscape. So we get attached. The next thing you know, others feel a similar passion and then? War. Dang man. Our sweetest traits bring on so much trouble. Sometimes.
During my 57 years on this planet I have lived in every time zone in the U.S. Born in Mountain Time, spent formative years (as they say) in Central, many more in Pacific and now in Eastern; Standard and Daylight, depending on the time of year. Of course there are beautiful, sacred places everywhere, but if I had to choose one over all the others, I would pick Lake Tahoe.
I only lived at 6,500 feet, on the border of California and Nevada, for a couple of years. Possibly my short tenure there explains why I never quite made myself at home with the culture or the people (though I still have dear friends who I connected with during those years). But the land? And the lake? Oh man. I loved Tahoe. The air was/is so blue, the sky blue but yet somehow gold at the same time. It smells like vanilla, like pine, like the sweetest fir tree oil you have ever smelled. Delicious.
I loved the beautiful white winters and in fact earned the name "Snowface" when I learned how to ski. I loved the mountains and the rocks, trees, the waterfalls and all the tiny little lakes up in Desolation Wilderness. I loved the sound of the wind blowing through the pines. Wow.
I still dream about the Sierra, about the lake. When I need to retreat to a space of peace and tranquility, I always imagine myself looking out across Emerald Bay (see below). Ahhhhhhh.......
Nevertheless, the first chance I had, I high-tailed it down to San Francisco, a place where the land never made sense but where I really loved the people and the culture. Ah the vagaries of human nature, or at least my own human nature.