When I was young in the mountains, I never dreamed I would someday be living full-time in middle of them.

When I was young in the mountains, I didn’t know how many wild flowers were edible.

When I was young in the mountains, I looked up at the night sky with the same amazement and wonder I do now.

When I was young in the mountains, the mountains set me free.

I like thinking of myself when I was kid. Especially now. As a teacher I think of how I can relate to my students, how I can get to know each one in a unique way. I sometimes try to think what would my “kid- self” have done. Or which student I was most like as a kid.

I have recently purchased the children’s picture book When I Was Young in the Mountains, by Cynthia Rylant. In her book she does exactly what I did above. She repeated “when I was young in the mountains.” I thought I should “steal-like-an-artist” like my grad school writing instructor told me. So I used Cynthia’s same pattern.

I had a different relationship with the mountains then as I do now. I went camping, I would run Red Rocks, I would vacation with my family at a ski resort, I would go for walks looking at the foothills. But now I am literally living in the mountains…. I know what you’re thinking, I wouldn’t have guessed it either.

But the mountains are home to me. When I’m in the mountains now, my whole being feels at ease. Peaceful. Inspiring. Natural. I look out above the city of Boulder with new appreciation. I drive out in no service with great admiration.

Twenty years from now, I might be saying: when I was young in the mountains, I used to live in a travel trailer. And my older self will look back and smile with her whole heart.

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