Out In the Pines, I Understand The Popular Mountain Vibe

“What is the vibe of Northern Arizona?”, our friends asked us. When we first fell in love with the place on our vacation in fall of 2020, people wondered why. I don’t think it was the vibe then, although we definitely noticed there was one.

“Outdoorsy”, was our answer. People ski, play disc golf, raft, climb, bike and hike, just to name a few of the most popular pastimes. Residents of the area work hard and play harder, outside in the fresh mountain air.

In the first week after moving here, I commented to a friend that the whole region smelled like Christmas. The fragrant cover of fresh cold pine reminded me of tree lot excursions and piles of bough wreaths. Being outside and inhaling deeply made my heart happy in an almost giddy way.

“The smell of pine needles, spruce and the smell of a Christmas tree – those to me, are the scents of the holidays.”

Blake Lively

I suddenly wonder whether outdoorsy people are drawn to the mountains or if the mountains draw people outdoors.

Mama Lava
Blooming cactus coming up amidst the pine needles and pine cones.
When you live in the mountains, but it is also the desert, you get pine cones and cactus. This is spring in the mountains of Northern Arizona.

But now that spring has sprung, and the sun has warmed the pine needles, the musky scent is an altogether different kind of wonderful. It smells like camping trips and adventure. I can barely stand to be inside. I suddenly wonder whether outdoorsy people are drawn to the mountains or if the mountains draw people outdoors.

I suspect it is the latter. Out among the pines, I understand the popular mountain vibe. It beckons me to join, and I feel helpless to resist.

“The ground’s soft with pine needles and the occasional crunch of a cone. The air smells like it’s just been born.”

Libba Bray

“To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.”

Helen Keller

“God dwells in His creation and is everywhere indivisibly present in all His works. He is transcendent above all His works even while He is immanent within them.”

A.W. Tozer

“Lord, you have been our dwelling-place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”

Psalm 90:1-2

17 replies on “Out In the Pines, I Understand The Popular Mountain Vibe”

I’m so happy for you! It sounds amazing! We are currently having many showings of our house. In some ways, I am more than ready for a new adventure. In other ways, probably because of the unknown, I am very nervous.

Please keep those prayers coming! Some things are falling into place and I can see God’s hand in them. However, it is still a very anxious time. Enjoy your lovely new home and offer up some prayers for us! I’m so glad things are working out so well for you! God bless!

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I’m praying for you everyday, Rita. I’m so happy to hear that things are starting to fall into place! One day the things that are unknown today will be in your rear view and you will have an AMAZING testimony of God’s provision. I can’t wait to read it! 😉

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“I suddenly wonder whether outdoorsy people are drawn to the mountains or if the mountains draw people outdoors.” Great quote, Mama Lava. I believe the latter is correct. I’m in agreement with Helen Keller too.

I live in the flatlands of the midwest and every time I’ve had an opportunity to visit mountains, in any region, I’m struck by a sense of awe and wonder. I gain perspective and a literal awareness of how small I am and how big and good God is.

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Your correct, God’s wonder is displayed everywhere. We just have to open our eyes and look.

I’ve pondered is my awe because I’m not accustomed to seeing it _____________ fill in the blank mountains, the ocean, tropical forest, etc. everyday? And if I did would my reverence of His magnificent creation become dulled? I’d like to think not because when I take time to be out in God’s glorious creation I can get giddy over simple pleasures. Things like a stunning flower, the sound of a babbling brook, or the activity of busy ants at work on an anthill.

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I get that! I pray all the time that I never take what I see for granted. I want to always feel wonder at the Creator’s creative creation. 😄 The big things like the mountains and oceans, and the small things like the critters and the plants… and all the different sizes and shapes of people. All of it came from His imagination. What a masterpiece His world is!

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Yes, Fred! Your blog is amazing for highlighting creation – and if it is so alluring in this fallen world, I can’t imagine what grandeur awaits us in Heaven!


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