There are two moments in my day that I have the joy of dropping my inner dialogue, forgetting the very long to-do list ahead of me, and fully reveling in the present moment.
They are when I exit my car, and when I go to my car at the end of the day.
Where my work parking structure is situated happens to be surrounded on all sides by the most incredible mountains. Where we live is called “The Valley,” and despite having lived here for most of my life, I never really knew why. But it’s because we are literally in the center of a valley, with mountains all around.
Except when driving my car or running my errands or going to community college or any of the other things I did, I never noticed that. I only saw the roads and the buildings and the cars in my way.
But where I park, in a parking structure five levels up, one can see it perfectly.
And it is beautiful.
So beautiful, that I take pictures of it every chance I get.
These pictures do it absolutely zero justice. But I take the photos because they remind me of how peaceful I feel when I’m up there.
Last week, I wondered what the first settlers/indigenous people must have seen, standing in that very spot, with mountains on all sides. How small they must have felt, how in awe. Because even with solar panels and the smell of Chinese food cranking out from the mall and the multitude of buildings partially disrupting the view, even I, today, am in awe.
If I’m really stressed or feeling out of my body, I’ll spend a couple of extra minutes up there in the morning or before I go home. It gives me breathing room. It brings me back to Earth. And when I’m living my escapist fantasy of running away to the Pacific Northwest or complaining that there’s no nature where we are, I just have to do a spin-around on the fifth floor to remember that I’m wrong.