The other day I was talking to my bother-in-law (no, that's not a typo). I was exclaiming about how bright it is outside. He looked at me as if I was daft. "It's snowing out" he said "and it's cloudy. There's no sun." And he was absolutely correct. When it's overcast and snowing out here it is sooooo much brighter then anything we've seen in a long while in the latitudes north of 60 degrees even when the sun is out in full force. I was forced to wear sunglasses on cloudy days initially because my eyes could not adjust to the beautiful brightness. When people ask me why I'm hear I tell them it's to replenish my Vitamin D and I'm not entirely joking. It's brilliant here when the sun is out and high in the sky reflecting off the powdered sugar light snow. It's such a gift, all this daylight, all this time to get out and play under wide skies when I get bogged down by job applications and need a break.
It's interesting to me, having grown up in this valley, how I seem to have lost it's topography. I once knew it's trails and secrets intimately. If someone suggested a place to hike or ski I could imagine it's slope, the trail head, the creek's that flowed past it, whether the snow stayed late or melted early. Now when people mention these names I can no longer remember how to get there or any of the other details. It saddens me. I have been so many places and explored so many places since I left that those I grew up with are no longer so definitive in my mind and yet the spirit of them remains. So many of the open places have gone, vanished beneath urban sprawl. It seems that every subdivision is named after the species of wildlife it displaced: Elk Run, Coyote Lane, Cougar Hollow, Springing Deer. There are new trails through the pasture lands and the golf courses, rails to trails, new-old places to explore.