A dear friend hailing from Montreal visited last week–a blessing of an event, not just because it meant being with someone I haven’t seen in years, but also because her vacation here offered me a reminder of how much I adore where I live.
It’s so easy to forget. It’s so easy to let the daily grind grate. Easy to let the heat suffocate, the smoke burn my lungs, the work on my desk consume my mind, the traffic on the I-25 drive me insane, the loneliness ache until I wish I was anywhere, anywhere, anywhere but where I am.
But, in truth, Colorado is as much as a home as where I was born. Colorado is where I learned to stand on my own. Where I was inspired to try again. Where I loved and was loved, where I hurt and was hurt. I was raised in California–my family is in California, my home-home California–but it was in Colorado that I grew up. Where I was first kissed, where all of my boyfriends have lived, where I made mistakes and laughed at the most ludicrous of moments and drove down icy mountain roads far too fast. I flew to Colorado Springs nearly every other month from when I was fourteen until I was seventeen. I first officially moved into town when I was eighteen, until I returned to California nine months later for instate tuition. Inevitably I was back inby the next summer and officially again a resident the following January.
Naturally though, after living here, working here, studying here, struggling here for years, well, it’s easy to forget how much I adore here. It’s even easier to forget how short and absurdly fleeting one year is–a truth crucial to reminder for in just one year I’ll (most likely) no longer claim a Colorado Springs zipcode.
Having a friend vacation in my home was a much needed reminder of my love for this state, this city, of it’s beauty. To hike and to wander and to drive and to see the mountains with new eyes all over again and to just breathe. It’s been a stressful month–an independent study more demanding than I anticipated, two jobs, training for fall’s fellowship, and an urgency to write–but last week, as I treated Colorado Springs with an attention I haven’t offered its mountains in years, the attention I gave it when I was fourteen, my work-driven angst fell away. I love this place.
Colorado may not be my only home, but it is a home. A home I will always turn to–no matter where I am, I’m always guided by Pikes Peak.