I love you.
I’ve been outside almost nonstop the past few days, working out of coffee shops instead of my office, riding instead of heading inside for yoga and eating whatever meals I can on patios, decks or on my concrete front porch steps. I take my small dog out for long walks multiple times a day whether he needs it or not. It is that luscious time of year with you when mornings require sweaters and socks but as the day wears on, flip flops and tank tops will do just fine. I change two or three times every day with the weather, more if I am heading out for the evening.
It’s impossible for me to linger indoors for long because I know your winds of winter are just around the bend, and though I love snow and skiing and cuddling with my lover on cold nights, the romance of your last ditch effort at summer is seductive and I don’t have the power to turn away.
After the movers deposited my boxes inside my very own condo in June of 2010, I waited for Boulder showers and not-so-perfect days of little sun to unpack. I waited and I waited, barely making a dent in the cardboard boxes filled with what little I had brought from my former home in Massachusetts. Finally I understood. Rainy days cannot be counted on with you, your recent floods not withstanding.
In fact, the devastation of our recent flooding has left behind the deepest fall green I have ever seen like emeralds from heaven offered in exchange for what Mother Nature took.
These are the gem days where I stop my bike on long rides in late afternoon and take a picture, knowing the image cannot capture what I am feeling, but hoping anyway that what does end up in my photograph can recall a tiny spark of the loveliness that moved me enough to stop peddling for a moment and caused me to sigh. These are the days where one is hard pressed not to be present and still in the moments unfolding in front of them. If one is unmoved on days such as this, my heart fills with sadness on their behalf.
Moments like these are particularly magnificent to me, a former New England girl who still longs for leaf-covered lawns and trails every Autumn and has become accustomed to the melancholy that sifts into her veins after Labor Day. I’ve made a kind of pilgrimage back east in October most years, but this year neither the time or opportunity has presented itself and while I still yearn, I am finding that the beginning of my fourth year with you, dear Colorado, might be the charm for missing my familiar less.
I’m thinking of all the ways our space, our home, but especially those who inhabit it with us moves us and propels us towards living the life we most dream about and desire and I’m thinking of how I’ve learned that the word ‘home’ is actually a sensation of peace and joy that develops deep inside of us when we are where we are meant to be and this is something that has become obvious thanks to my romantic relationship with an extraordinary man who has taught me the true definition of home. And love. And you, Colorado, brought us to one another.
When I made the decision to move to Boulder from Boston, something I could barely articulate beckoned me saying only, ‘come home,’ and so I did. I moved. And since I’ve followed that impossible-to-describe magnetic pull, my life just began to make more sense. It’s not perfect and I’m not insulated from heartbreak or disappointment or disaster, but knowing I have found my place has made the inevitable life malfunctions less difficult to manage, like the adolescent girl who finds refuge in the four walls of her bedroom when troubled.
Space matters, and I yes, I am in love with you Colorado. You are the extraordinary setting that allows my life to unfold with an open and willing heart.
I rode yesterday on a major highway that leads to Rocky Mountain National Park with a strong headwind pushing me back, with my heart in my throat remembering how the wind can change on this road and unexpectedly become a frightening cross wind, but I did not consider turning around. I knew I could be swept a few feet to the side if the unexpected happened, but I decided to let go of my fear. Instead I rode with a smile towards all the things that are uncertain because I know now I have found home.