This bluebird day finds me not, alas, skiing, but surrounded by hard-packed drifts of rapidly melting snow that somehow make the air smell exactly like Colorado. I bundle Rosie for waterproofing rather than warmth. Face raised to the rays, I imagine I'm lunching mountainside instead of on a dry patch of driveway. Rosie, soaked despite my efforts, climbs into her red toddler car and announces, "I'm going to California." Guess she's going to be a beach girl.
As for me, it's mountains. An Illinois flat-lander born and bred, you'd think that geographic beggars shouldn't be choosers, but you just can't help some things. Of course, the sea is beautiful, but it's the mountains I crave.
Perhaps it's because I love to ski, but viewing Jaws at an impressionable age left me wary of saltwater? (I can't shake my conviction that sharks target the corn-fed, Midwestern legs.) I'm doing my level best to hide my craziness from my daughters, who have taken to the beaches and the water like, well, the little Bostonians who they're growing up to be. A friend, homesick for another far-away, impossible home, pressed Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Against Wind and Tide into my hands before we left DC. "Maybe it will help you read the words of someone who loved that part of the country."
It has helped, as had the daily exposure to the water. My favorite coffee spot is nestled harborside, and there's no doubt that its view beats the parking-lot vistas offered by my former DC haunt. Yesterday, the water sparkled green, and wind whistled out--next stop: another continent. So, I am learning to love this seascape, too. But today--just for a few minutes--I enjoyed my mountain retreat.