Disclaimer: This post is a little touchy feely/woo-woo. Prepare yourself.
You know that feeling you get when you just vibe with a place? It’s like your body relaxes and you feel a sense of being right where you should be at that moment in time. A friend described it recently as "being in a harmonic vibration with your surroundings.” It is a lot like when just the right song comes on when you need to heat it the most. I have written about this feeling when I lived in San Francisco and while visiting in Portland. Colorado: not so much.
I have visited Colorado dozens of times. Growing up in Albuquerque, Denver was one of the closest big cities and was often an overnight or weekend road trip. I have camped, visited friends, driven through, had my heart broken, broken others hearts, danced all night, and all stayed in quite a few places. Me and Colorado are well acquainted. Once I even drove 5 and a half hours up with friends just to buy a pack of clove cigarettes when they were all the rage and not available in New Mexico. I have had a lot of fun and some really bad trips, but, in all of those times I have never been able to set my compass on where I am or where I am going. I feel lost, stressed, and panicked whether in traffic or on the open road. Once, I got altitude sickness on a family vacation so bad I had to suck on a can of oxygen (I thought that was a gag in Spaceballs, but it is in fact a real thing. Who knew?). Because I live at about the altitude of Denver and have traveled to many other high altitude places, I will attribute this (perhaps somewhat unfairly, I admit) to the level of unexplained anxiety that I get when visiting Colorado.
I guess given my history with Colorado, it was possibly not the best choice for a weekend retreat to reset after a busy summer. I was attracted by the idea of getting to be an off the grid introvert in a judgement free zone. Originally, I was going to come right before my 40th birthday last April, but life happened and here we are. Maybe I am just trying to hard to make sense of my literal place in the world, but I like to be clear about where I stand with a place when I visit. Don’t get me wrong, Colorado can be one of the most beautiful places (the picture below are evidence of that) and I have had lots of good times. In fact, I will be back in just a few weeks to see one of my favorite bands. But taking this trip, it occurred to me how this year of travel has changed the way I see the places I visit and Colorado came into focus as a place that has never called to me.
As the heat presses down and the smell of summer storms surrounds me,
I am unable to avoid the thought of you.
The hope that in the autumn of our lives we found something real
and falling leaves signify the end of searching for someone to travel with into winter.
Someone to hold close and embrace in the cold as we move to another year.
Another chance to get it right and welcome the coming of spring
as we celebrate the beauty of something new.