Building our relationship with a place day by day, just by looking

I like to think about our relationships to places. How, sometimes, we fall in love with a place as well as a person. Or, we love a place because we love a person — or even the opposite sometimes.

I spend a lot of time alone, but a lot of that is time looking out at the mountains. I love hiking in them on solitary weekends and letting the environment help me process what’s going on in life and where I’m heading. Those days make me feel light, happy, and at home.

I receive a lot from just looking and watching the mountains from afar as well, in the evenings or on lazy weekends. Each week I spend here I feel more familiar with the mountains that form the valley in which I live.

You can watch the mist roll in, envelop the peaks, and roll away again.

You can see the snow come and go, settling only momentarily in late summer months before taking up a more lasting presence as winter nears.

There’s the fresh morning light that makes the glacier shine and there’s the deep red glow of the evening sun on the rocks.

There are beautifully clear and bright days as well as moody, bad visibility days where you feel sorry for the tourists. And many days in-between.

If it feels like things are changing or falling apart, I look more to nature now than I ever have before. I think we have landscapes just like we have good friends, food, wine, music, poems and books.

I live in a very beautiful place, but I think there’s always something uplifting to pay attention to. We can get closer to nature or look for the little glimpses of it around us in the city. There’s the night sky, the water, the trees, the flowers, and the sunshine.

As you slow down, look, and watch a while, a lot happens inside of you. Anchor yourself to your home surroundings and let them grow close to you. Build on that familiarity with time.