Monday, March 12, 2012


My blog name comes from places where I feel most at home or which have had a deep impact on me.  In earlier posts I wrote about “Sun” and then “Sand”.  I will complete the process by explaining “Stone”.

STONE:   Stone represents the mountains that have dominated my landscape for most of my life.  One might not equate the low desert of Tucson with majestic mountain chains but Tucson is, in fact, surrounded by mountains.  We lived in the foothills of one chain from the time I was about 11.  Behind my house the grand Santa Catalina Mountains rose up some 9,000 feet.   Within less than an hours drive you could be among a pine forest boasting a myriad of hiking trails, peaks to climb, riverbeds, camping sites and hidden lakes.  The tall spire of Finger Rock was a landmark – only once did I attempt to climb the trail to it, eventually succumbing to the steep, slippery route.  To the east of town were the thickly wooded Rincon Mountains, green even from a distance.  The jagged peaks of the Santa Rita mountains could be seen to the south, and the rugged Tucson mountains rose to the west, just moments from downtown.  I recall being in constant awe of these marvelous cliffs rising around me, filling up the sky, changing colors with the light.  I never took them for granted.  I also never knew I would miss them so much until I moved to the Midwest for a period and had to live without them.  Much as I missed the sun in Michigan, I missed the wide-open sky and my beloved mountains encircling me.  My future husband took me skiing to a local “mountain” once in Michigan.  I laughed out loud.  I’ve seen taller buildings.  I explained to him that he had no idea what real mountains were.
            I eventually realized that I HAD to return to the southwest in order to thrive.  My soon-to-be husband followed.  We compromised on our destination and landed in Albuquerque.  Once again, the blue sky spread out before me, uninterrupted.  And once again, I had a soaring mountain chain as a backdrop.  This time it was the Sandia Mountains; the tail end of the larger Rocky Mountain chain.  Albuquerque is in the high desert, as opposed to the low, which meant we actually had seasons!  Thus, I now lived with mountains that were often snow-covered, like a fine sugar coating on a blue-purple background.  The most amazing thing about these mountains was the dramatic coloring they displayed every evening.  “Sandia” means watermelon in Spanish and the reddish-pink hue aptly described these peaks as the sun set each evening.  It still takes my breath away, even after 18 years.
            There is something comforting to me in these massive stone faces that rise up.  They are solid.  They are dependable.  They are soothing in their permanence.  In a world of constant change, I know I can look to them for solace and reassurance.  They are wisdom and reverence, joy and strength.  They are Home.

Quote for the day:  Today is your day!  Your mountain is waiting.  So…get on your way.
                                                                        ~Dr. Seuss


  1. Absolutely love that last paragraph. It's wonderful. In so few words you gave us your home. Wow. I went back and read your sand and sun posts also. What a great way to explain the name of your blog!

  2. You have taken us on a great journey, your photos are beautiful. I visited Albuquerque about 10 years ago. It was beautiful.

  3. This is a beautiful piece! I live in Denver, but have not been to Albuquerque or Tucson for many years. You make me want to go there!

  4. Dear Julie,
    Your writings about sand, sun, and stone are filled with warmth. You write beautifully. Thank you for sharing the story behind your blog name.