Why I Live Here

I sometimes wonder why I live in Utah. There are lots of things I don't really like about it: extreme conservatism, poor education funding, night life that shuts down at 10:00, gun nuts, urban sprawl, being part of the religious majority which seems at times to abuse its power, and, well, Utah county in general.

But then, there are times when I remember why it is that I do live here. Yesterday was one of those days. Even though the high was going to be in the 60s, I woke up at 7:00, left at 8:00, and by 9:00 was snowboarding on that famous Utah powder. It was phenomenal -- a cloudless sky, no lift lines, and well groomed runs. And just two days before, on April 10th, I enjoyed one of the BEST powder days all season (and there have been a LOT of good ones this year.)

I love to live in a place that has real seasons, instead of just varying degrees of rain and heat. Partially, I think it comes from growing up in Idaho, where the culture is, at times, still very tied to the land and farming. Don't get me wrong, I didn't grow up on a farm, I grew up in a suburb, but I went to high school with the children of farmers. My friends took a week off of school in the fall for the potato harvest and moved irrigation pipe in the summer. Life for them is inextricably tied to the seasons. Spring for planting, summer for growing, fall for harvest, and winter, well, winter is for snow.

Without the snow, everything else grinds to a halt. At church, we fasted for snow and talked solemnly about the prospect of a wet winter. And I think that's why I tolerate winter, because it's essential. Though I dislike the short days, long nights, and cold as much as anyone, I have to appreciate it. And, if winter really is so important, then I might as well enjoy it.