Sometimes I want to gather the rocky, pine-strewn mountains of northern California into my arms and croon, I do not blame you, oh land of my birth. I would hold them close like a parent aged fragile as a babe and swear, This was not your fault. You did not cause him to be taken from me, though it was in your heights the ending began. We are connected, even if this place is not the one that raised me, and our relationship should be one of love, not regret. I would sing to the scrub jays and coyotes, whisper tales to the granite boulders, lull the sun to slumber a little longer and hold off the day’s heat. Let there be peace between us, I would ask of those peaks. Your picturesque vistas will always hold as many joyful memories as painful; I will try to remember the beauty before and not the disaster which followed.