To see the mountains again

hazy Sierra shapes

on a pale blue horizon–

I am young

my child heart flutters,

dances lightly in my chest.

Around us, the dry California flats

stretch from east to west

Coast Ranges to Sierra Nevada,

straw yellow fields

green irrigated squares

tidy orchard rows,

expansive space occasionally interrupted

by house clumps

a glaring aluminum silo

the chunky scales of a palm tree trunk.

We are driving North–

two sisters and a dog named Check

in a shiny blue rental,

We are bound for granite peaks

and alpine lakes,

We left our city lives in the San Francisco fog–

office days, bus schedules, the constant spasm of city activity–

We are now the children we were before

(and always are inside),

two little girls with braids in their hair

marveling at the wonder

of a blue mountain on the distant horizon.

Civilization imprints the mind

but mountains imprint the spirit,

We giggle and sigh as they come closer.

Morning in the Trinity Alps Wilderness