The Reindeer’s View of Home

Image courtesy NASA

 Having been awake since 4 a.m. in order to accommodate security lines, on top of having a three hour layover and a turbulent second flight up from Baltimore, I was in pretty rough shape this morning. However, the view that I got of the gorgeous Finger Lakes was not only breath-taking, but finally made me feel like I was truly home for the holidays.

Having always flown to Rochester airport from the west, I’ve never had the opportunity to see the Finger Lakes in all their simultaneous glory. I was lucky enough to have a clear day and a window seat, and before I could even see the lakes, the topography of the land had already caught my attention.

Coming up the south, the flat land looks almost as if someone had forgotten to iron out the fields. The wrinkles slowly developed into etches, the etches turned into a mosaic of glacial hills. The hills that I grew up in looked like an embroidered quilt from miles high.

Then, in the furthest field of my vision, the valleys of the land started to seem a little hazy in places. As we got closer, the calmness of water was made clear. I recognized the two-pronged wishbone of Keuka Lake and realized that I’d made it home.

From that plane seat, the lakes spread out before me in their signature shapes. I realized from a first-person perspective why they’re called the Finger Lakes in the first place. The pictures and maps that I’ve seen don’t do their ethereal beauty justice. Those lakes make a delicate, majestic crown among the hills.

I couldn’t help but feel proud to call this place my home, as I calculated where my stomping grounds would lie. I grinned to myself as I overheard passengers commenting around me about how cool the ground looked out the windows.

“Ooh, where are we again?”

Just my favorite place in the world: home.

Halie Solea 2013By Halie Solea

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