I ride along the bike path on my way home from the farmers market, the San Jacinto mountains ranged before me. “Look where I live,” I whisper. I remember driving home from Santa Rosa on Guerneville Road, fields spread out beside me, the green rolling hills ahead. “Look where I live,” I’d say. I’d wiggle my butt on the seat, both hands on the wheel, dancing a little jig inside. I can go all the way back to Oakland, to that freeway junction I loved, from 580 to 24, I think. It ran in a wide climbing arc, the glory of the East Bay spread out below me. In Hopland I would sit on our wide stone porch and watch the rock outcropping change colors with the day, and I’d feel like I was living in a vacation rental. Then walking on the beach in Todos Santos, alone amidst scoops of brown pelicans, no one else in sight. Or riding the bus to San Juan Cosolá, ranchera music pouring out the open windows, my cheeks wet with grateful tears. I have been so lucky. But there is something about the San Jacintos that stirs me. And they are such a contrast to the lush farmland and oak woodland green of Sonoma County that evoked that first deep sense of wonder over where I lived. Now it is this stark, enormous nearby presence that makes my heart beat, breathes my lungs, these craggy rock mountains so alive I wonder if I can ever choose to live without them.