This is the view I miss the most. The cliffs above my home changing color as the sun arches in the sky. Gold, then pink, and finally purple as the sun sets on the Cold Lands across the valley.

img_2225“Why should you move anywhere? This is the most beautiful place on earth,” my grandmother Césarine said every day as she opened the shutters, but I left anyway. It’s hard to understand beauty when you’re a kid. With exactly one hundred and thirty-two dollars in my pocket and my high school English, I moved to the United States. On May 11, 2000, after nine years of working odd jobs and taking night classes, I became an American citizen. Today I live on the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with my husband, our two daughters, and the dogs, Karl and Mikko.