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I’m up before five, getting ready to head home after a week teaching iPhone programming in Utah. It’s been a great week teaching smart people new-to-them techniques and I always love a week spent creating apps for the iPhone. With all that, what really made this trip special was the mountains.

I can see mountains from the window of my hotel room. I see mountains when I enter the company where I did training and different mountains when I leave at night.

When I come out of our local Target in Cleveland I see a parking lot and other stores. When I left the Target in Sandy, Utah Wednesday night, I saw a parking lot, other stores, and mountains.

The mountains just sit there collecting snow. They look different every time I glance their way. When I got here on Sunday they were half hidden by grey clouds. In the morning light the clouds had cleared and they took my breath away. My favorite view, however, was Wednesday night in the sunset with the sky backlighting the mountains.

Mountains help place us. They are big on a scale that frames the world around them. Man can build a department store so big that it’s not just a Target it’s a Super Target. The mountains remind us that Super isn’t as big as one might think. It’s plenty big for a store but there are bigger things around it.

The mountains slow me down a bit. They remind me that the time scale that governs their life stretches on many lifetimes in each direction beyond my own. On a cold winter’s day someone will say to me “see, there’s no global warming.” The mountains have a different perspective. They know that a single day or a single year isn’t the point. These mountains were here before Utah was Utah and they aren’t going anywhere.

I need to bring the mountains back with me to Cleveland. I need to have that thing that I can look at or think about when I’m sitting alone at the keyboard and writing that puts me, my writing, and my life into perspective.