I had the most fantastic view of the valley this morning. How do I even begin to describe it?
Well, the first thing you need to know that the city sits surrounded almost entirely by mountains or, at least, foothills. There is no endless horizon and looking up at the great bowl of the mountains at it you feel cradled by the earth. Safe. Sheltered.
This city itself isn’t much to look at, at any time of day, looking rather like a pond of brackish water from above. The foothills make a shore of themselves, though, for this bizarre grey pool to lap at. They’re blooming right now, transformed from vast tracts of hard dirt to soft blankets of greening sage.
The foothills cut off abruptly into the western mountains which are, presently, a deep blue-green, the pine forests nearly black like ocean water, capped of course with the brightest white. The snow glows against the storm clouds roiling just beyond them, pressing forward like so many faces and palms against a pane of glass, held back by the reality of the rain shadow.
With the sunrise half started there’s a clear gradient overlay of gold that sweeps left to right across the valley and all the colors surrounding the city are twice as vivid. You could sink your teeth into them, press your hands deep under them and pull out fistfuls of hue that drain back into the world like grains of sand.
That still doesn’t quite capture it.
But I really do love it here more than anywhere else in the world and I’m determined to appreciate every last bit of this region before we finally kill it off with the rest of the planet.