Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sun, Oct 17, 2010: Echo Lake Snow-Seeking

On my way to work, I am given the most beautiful views of the mountains from the highway (and of course always wish I could magically transport myself into a world where I can drive into them forever, rather than go to work!). Lately, the tops of the highest peaks have been dusted with snow, and the sight of that snow turning pink against the soft purple-gray of the mountains at sunrise is one of the most breathtaking sights in Colorado.

This weekend, I wondered if B and I might be able to find some snow if we headed up toward Mt. Evans, so we decided to take a drive on Rt. 103 to find out!

Although I have traveled this road several times, I never tire of the expansive views of the mountains.
At one point along the drive, a brief glimpse of Denver could be seen through the branches of the thick pines. It's such a powerful feeling to look down on this large city, with its hulking buildings and busy streets, and know that I'm thousands of feet above it. My cares are diminished to invisible specs when compared to the mountains around me and the miles and miles of rolling pine-covered hills that lay between the city and me.
I'm pretty freaked out and not exactly excited about all the snow in the mountains right now, as it signals the ending of my favorite part of the year - the warm part. It does highlight the natural beauty of the peaks, however, so with views like this I can't really complain. :)
Yummmmmmm......
We took a short hike when we arrived at Echo Lake and found what I anticipated: snow. There were small, thin patches of snow covered in muddy footprints as if everyone had already done what we did, which was immediately stomp around in it. B crunched quietly in the snow while I said "crunch! crunch! crunch!" in time with my footsteps.
I may not love winter but there's something really special about that first snow!

Although I've driven past it several times, I've never stopped to spend time around Echo Lake. It was absolutely beautiful, with views of huge snow-covered mountain faces all around us, and somehow managed to feel serene despite the many people there enjoying it with us. I'd like to go again sometime and spend more time with the water.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Weds, Oct 13, 2010: When Did Days Become My Foes?

Somewhere along the line of my increasingly hectic life, my days have become my enemies. With building despair, I remember the times during which they have been my friends and wonder what's going so wrong. Every day I slash through a box on my calendar as if I were hacking at a foe toward the end of a long, long battle, exhausted and weak. I win, but there is little joy in victory as victory consists of collecting my days like cold, hard tokens which I cash in when I earn my next break. 5 for weekends, I cash them in and receive my 2 days, which are often filled with class and homework and things I don't want to do. I've been saving up for 3 months now for the week of fall break, and I am hording my days earned like a stingy dwarf, ready to hack off some hands if anyone tries to mess with my treasures. 3 months worth of days I have tiredly defeated jingle in my pocket, cold and hard and solid. There are no holes for air, no room for water.

I resent that my days have turned into obsticles and I mourn for the times when my days were golden and airy, with room to accomodate whatever came along. These hardened tokens of days have no warmth, no beauty. I am tired of fighting with my life and it saddens me that it has even come down to this: a showdown, me with my slashing pen and life in all its glory, being stuffed into a calendar box, being diminished into a token that I redeem, just for the chance to crack open the box and let everything I crave pour over me, even if only for a little while, once I've defeated enough enemy days to earn it. I live for the stolen moments of light and breath that manage to escape, but I feel them all too seldom lately.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thurs, Oct 7, 2010: The Space Within A Hollow Tree

Today, my soul is the space within the still-standing hollowed out remains of a tree. The sun filters gently through the leaves and sparkles as it hits the dust slowly swirling around me. A gentle breeze sets free leaves of crimson and orange and gold, and they flip and twirl in a dance until they reach the ground at my feet. The smell is old and dry and clean, as if everything that could have made a bad smell has long since dried up and gone away. Rich earth supports me while brilliant trees arch over me, the supporting frames of this forest cathedral.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sun, Oct 3, 2010: Four Mile Historic Park Pumpkin Festival

Every once in a while, I experience something in Colorado that makes me miss Connecticut like a kick in the gut. It happens any time, any season, and hits me so I almost can't breathe from missing it. Autumn is a difficult time because I think I left the most beautiful autumn in the world back in Connecticut, and it's a special kind of torture knowing what the world is doing out there and that I can't be a part of it. I miss catching fluttering orange and red and gold leaves in my parents' backyard, and I miss the smell of autumn and the taste of crisp, tart apple cider. I miss cornstalks and scarecrows and the swish of hiking in fallen leaves. I even miss those times when the leaves settle into a hole in the ground and you step into the hole unknowing and almost wipe out, just because it's part of autumn.

This past weekend, B and I went with my friends to Four Mile Historic Park (which I had never heard of) for an annual pumpkin festival. I had no idea that people in Colorado even had pumpkin festivals, so learning this was a huge relief to me. The park contained several permanent old buildings that were built in the mid-1800's: a trapper's cabin, a couple of old homes, and what looked like an old school. There was also a Native American area set up where people were selling furs and clothing. Some people were dressed for the time period and were demonstrating old trade skills like blacksmithing, bee keeping, weaving, and cooking. To me, it was heaven, and I have deeply missed the old fashioned reenactments that are so prevalent in New England. I think I always took it for granted that I'd always be able to learn how people mended harnesses 300 years ago, but I'm learning now that this kind of information seems to be held by the east coast.

We found a cider donut vendor and I was able to eat my first cider donut in 4 years. YUM! There were kids jumping on hay bales, families building scarecrows, a few trees hanging heavy with ripe red apples, homemade root beer (not a New England tradition but delicious!), hay rides, the sweet scent of fallen aspen leaves, and woven through it all, those rich hints of another time period. It's the closest thing to "normal" autumn that I've experienced since moving to Colorado, and it almost... almost.... satisfied my craving.