I wrote this post the summer of 2007 (or was it 2008) when I first visited Boulder, and just re-read it today. I’m struck with where I was then and where I am now and the many individuals I’ve been blessed to become all tangled up with because of the yearning I experienced and acted upon after this visit. I’m struck with how immense those initial moments were and how listening to them enriched my existence. So I’m sharing them with you just in case you are in need of a gentle nudge to jump into your own true life.
I have a space of my own. The floor slopes downhill, the windows don’t open easily, all the doors have a mind of their own, and the décor while comfortable and quaint, doesn’t tell any particular story. All of which make this temporary home perfect for me. I have not walked into someone else’s space, but can make this space my own blank page upon which to write for the time I am here.
The floor is brown linoleum, walls a cheerful yellow and the woodwork is white. My kitchen sink doesn’t have a stopper, and the back screen door has a huge gap for pretty much any small creature that should decide to drop in for a visit. My screen porch has the bare minimum of furnishings, a simple table and two chairs, but I intend to move the wicker armchair in my living area outside. Why not? It’s my home for the next few days.
I still live in the house and community I was married and divorced in and I don’t belong there any longer. So, I am on vacation alone to explore Boulder, Colorado and see if I could call the area home when my younger daughter graduates from high school. The day I came upon Boulder and the Flatirons it was so hazy that had I not been told by a friend who had already traveled this road to pull into a scenic overlook, I would have continued to wonder where the mountains were. But once pulled over, I could begin to make out the outline of the imposing, beautiful Flatirons. I hadn’t even entered the city proper, and already felt a growing sense of excitement and joy that this was where I would spend the next ten days.
My little cottage is at the foothills of these magnificent mountains, and I feel I am in the hands of God. These are no mere hills, even the lush meadow leading to the mountain feels like a mountain. I have no television or telephone, but I do have internet connection and cell phone coverage. I like that I can decide how connected I wish to be. I turned off my phone for a few hours yesterday, and it was liberating, if a bit unsettling.
I spent the morning today writing on my screened porch, (notice how easily I say ‘my’ screened porch?) eating a wonderful breakfast of yoghurt and fresh fruit. I meandered through the morning then got ready to hike. I hiked the first and second Flatiron and am almost certain I smiled the entire hike. My footing was solid, and I encountered a lizard, a curious chipmunk and many friendly, interesting people. When I came to the end of my hike and could see behind the Flatirons, I spied an enormous range of snow-capped mountains and sighed in joy. Home, yes I was home.
It is a peaceful, albeit complicated piece of knowledge to sense you have finally found your place in the universe. I want to go look for a job, find a home and begin my life. But I can’t. I have responsibilities at home and work that needs to be completed before I can leave. I am in a hard place, knowing it’s my time, and also knowing it can’t be. Not yet.
Still, something has grabbed hold of me and I don’t want to let it go. I took a yoga class the day I arrived here and the instructor reminded us that the one life we have the most power to impact was our own. Sometimes that means doing things differently from others. Sometimes that means making choices that others will never understand in a million years. Sometimes it means walking alone. The truth of the matter is, only I can write my book. Only I can change my life. In many respects the choice has already been made; the question is not “Will I?” but “When will I?”
This place of my own is only borrowed, I know. But the borrowed soul of this imperfect cottage has reminded me of the incredible possibility in my life. Sometimes the borrowed delivers far more than that which is given outright.