The Mountains and Oceans of Oklahoma

In all the time that I spent anticipating leaving California, I thought about missing people, of course, but also the mountains and the ocean. I thought I'd like it in Oklahoma, but I wasn't sure if I'd like its landlocked flatness.

As far as the mountains go, the lack of them isn't so terrible because, once you stop thinking about what's missing, you begin to notice what's there: the sky, which can be so gorgeous with it's billowing white clouds and thunder heads and the wonderful lack of brown haze (for you non-Californians, I mean smog).

Ethan asked me a few weeks ago whether I still miss having mountains. Sometimes I do, but mostly I just enjoy what is here. I love how green it is. I love the trees. Take me south or east on the highways (they don't call them freeways here) and I suddenly take a deep breath and relax because I am surrounded by green and trees that grew up of their own accord, unlike most trees in southern California (except those in the mountains). I'm sure the greenery is to be a recurring subject as I am in love with the country (which isn't far from us) and I would love to move out there. There's so much water here: lakes, rivers, creeks, and ponds. No wonder it's green. Except where the green is scraped back, showing the red earth underneath.

Fact: Oklahoma actually has mountains, something not even locals always know, probably because they're not that tall and Okies don't seem to like to drive as much as southern Californians. There are actually four mountain ranges. Proof: Oklahoma's Topography. Ethan and I are definitely going camping sometime.

I've had a few surprises, as far as the lack of ocean is concerned. The first thing happened on our drive into Oklahoma. It was night when we crossed the bare flat plain of the Texas panhandle and the beginning of the western side of Oklahoma. We stopped for gas and the air that met me when I got out of the car was cool and moist and immediately reminiscent of a sea breeze, except for the lack of saltiness. I looked out over the dark plain towards the flat horizon, and, what with the mist of clouds across the sky as well, I could've almost mistaken it for the ocean. This illusion didn't last long as most of our drive through Oklahoma either wasn't so flat or was covered with trees, but I savored it.

This same phenomenon has happened to me a couple more times while driving near our apartment in Oklahoma City. More often, just the moist cool breezes that we get when it's not blazing hot strike me with the sudden remembrance of the ocean.

I don't think I'll miss the ocean that much, and I certainly wouldn't trade my scenery for southern California's, even though mine is mountainless. I have to say, I love this place.

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