Google mail added a new feature recently: the ability to “skin” one’s mail page with a theme graphic and color scheme. I chose mountains. With ocean and trees, mountains round out the trinity of my heart–the three things that are always with me, and that I cannot do without. Living in Minnesota almost killed me, beautiful though it is.

So any chance to put trees (on my iGoogle homepage), mountains (on my Google mail page), or ocean (my desktop background) before me is a good thing.

Here’s what I’ve noticed: if I don’t clear the decks regularly, the trees and mountains and ocean pebbles get covered and I stop seeing them. If I don’t change the scenery it becomes invisible. And if I don’t make a conscious effort to see the beauty around me–the postcard-perfect view on my way to work or the sun shooting across the kitchen floor–I miss it.

In eighteen years of living less than two hours’ travel from the Twin Towers, I never went to the top, not once. And now I never will.

What are you taking for granted?