My mom sometimes says that she has a map in her head. I believe her. She is like a human compass. She always knows where she is, and what direction she needs to go to get to where she wants to be. This gift of direction was not passed through her DNA to any of her children, much to our chagrin (and hers). I remember in my early days of driving, getting lost and phoning home for directions. This was in the days when people would look up a map on the computer at home, print it off, and then point themselves in the right direction and hope they didn't miss their turn-off.
"I am lost, mom."
"Look for the mountains," she would say. "Where are the mountains? The mountains are in the north".
For my 17-year-old self, this was little consolation. Living in the Fraser Valley, I could see mountains in pretty much any direction I look. A few life experiences and a geography degree later, I understand what she meant. These mountains are hard to miss.
As I get older I find myself sounding more and more like my mom.
"Look at those mountains!" I tell whoever is in the car with me. Almost any conversation can be immediately interrupted if there is a good view of the mountains. The mountains make me smile. Sometimes they make me want to cry. On a clear day they take my breath away. When I am lost I know where to look.