Place Where You Live:

Jackson, Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park

As I sit and reflect on the wooden rocking chair, enjoying the shade of the porch roof and taking in the golden light of dusk, I am in awe of the view before me. The mountains are humbling. They remind me of why I am here, and of who I am. This is my favorite skyline; more majestic than any skyscraper, and more timeless than any cityscape I have yet to encounter. The vastness of the mountains is liberating. It is an escape from the noise down below, where problems are magnified and perspective is narrowed. But more importantly, I am drawn to the challenge of reaching a summit and stepping where few have been before. To me, this represents an important philosophy; you get out of life what you put in. With a little hard work and even more determination, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. The view of my front yard is a metaphor for the challenges to come. But I know that no summit is unattainable; no feat too mighty. The peaks that tower above me represent the aspirations I seek to achieve. Climbing out of the protection of the timberline and higher than the clouds gives me a sense of confidence with which nothing else can compare; I know I can harness the mental stamina it takes to reach 10,000 above sea level towards emotional, academic and professional endeavors.

The mountains are resilient to the forces of both time and seasons, yet they remain unchanged in their beauty. After every rainfall comes a sunrise, after every fire comes successional growth, after every snowfall comes spring’s new growth. The jagged edges and carefully carved valleys can teach us the history of this beautiful place and those who graced it before us. Mountains can teach us to appreciate the beauty around us, to conserve the integrity of the landscape, and to respect the wildlife with whom we share it. The first time I saw the mountains, I knew I had found home. They will always be my inspiration.