even in winter, colorado can’t pull a gray face for long. eventually the mood lifts, the sun comes out, and the sky reveals itself to be a brilliant, cloudless, endless blue, just as it always was before. i ached because my soul could not spread out to match the domed expanse.
when the bright snow kisses the reddest sandstone everywhere it can, in secret hollows and in the dazzling brightness of the eastern slopes, bearing witness to their love is too much for my heart to stand. seeing such intense beauty feels like the moment of creation.
i wish i felt as passionate about anything as you do about this, i said to her. what about writing? she said.
i get in my own way. i love writing. it feeds me if i allow myself to feed it. but i am indeed passionate about my lost and found western home.
at the end of the week, after two days of snow and another day of bad driving, i left.
i didn’t want to leave. i’d reconnected with a place i loved, with a person i treasured, with a self i couldn’t reclaim any other place. but i’d delayed as long as i could. we packed up the rental car for the last time. i left the radio off and my hands on the wheel. my head was filled with song. throwing glances over my shoulder at my beloved mountains, i listened to imogen heap’s voice expanding and reverberating between my ears. there is no other voice that can describe the hope and the grief i felt all in that one moment.
the next day was christmas. i was invited to listen to “hide and seek” on new headphones, one of the day’s gifts. i closed my eyes, shut out the noise and wrapping paper, and listened. it’s what i do when my soul needs its space. i don’t do it often enough. i simply listened, nothing else, and only to this.
when i opened my eyes, everyone assumed the tears were from the gorgeous sound. what i didn’t say was that, when i closed my eyes and heard that gorgeous sound, i saw mountains.