From Beach to Mountains

Sometimes we don’t realize we’re missing anything in life until we are confronted with an emotion, a smell or an environment. This recently happened to me upon moving from San Diego back to Colorado. When I first reached San Diego from Idaho, I was overwhelmed by the noise of airplanes, cars, sirens and people. My mind felt crowded. I had a hard time finding a place where I could assimilate. Fortunately Fiesta Island, an off-leash dog park, provided a bit of a sanctuary. Early in the morning my dog and I walked the inner island where there are less than three regulars that walk at that hour. I was greeted with Sandhill cranes, marine layer, scrub brush and only 7 trees on the inner area. Rabbits ran unchecked by predators, while pelicans and seagulls flew overhead, joining the occasional hawk and owl in a hunt for food. Their voices replaced the background noise of the city and I came to look forward to my quiet morning walks with my dog. I had no idea how much I was missing the mountains until I stepped foot on a familiar trail. Afternoon showers had just let up and the smells of plants, earth and flowers were so strong I was almost sickened. I inhaled the peace that comes from being away from cities. I listened, but didn’t hear anything except for my dog’s collar jangling as she began following this scent then that one. Being able to walk out of a home and into woods, grasses and open space with only a ten-minute walk is priceless to me. My dog can run as far as she likes and I don’t worry about her running into the road. I have always known my home is in the mountains, but never realized how much of my soul this environment makes up.

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