Colorado, family, health, travel

Watching my Childhood Burn to the Ground


I am a Colorado Girl.  I left my heart in the mountains years ago.  I wish I could go back.  But I can’t and I have made a truce in myself, found peace in another place.  And yet I am still often homesick, even after years away.

For the first time I wish I had TV and could keep news running all the time.  My childhood is burning down.  The forests I grew up in are turning to ashes and stumps.  My Facebook feed is nothing but friends letting us know they have evacuated and are safe and other friends posting offers of a place to stay.  One girl is going to Colorado Springs to help the animal shelter care for pets that no longer have homes.

I wish I was religious and could pray for rain or bargain with God.  For if there ever was a time to ask for mercy this is it.

Colorado will always be the most beautiful place on earth for me.  The Rocky Mountains hold my soul.  Maybe I am biased.  I was born in a two-room cabin with no plumbing and a wood stove 11,000 feet over sea level.

The girl has been ripped from the mountains but the mountains cannot be taken from the girl, for they will always live on in her mind.  They will always be green and white.  It still seems strange when I go to visit to see the tops of the peaks bare and brown against the sky.  There was snow, year round.  And now I fear what I will see the next time I visit.  They will be black and treacherous.  I would rather remember the Colorado that cradled me through childhood, the cool breezes and running creaks.  The big horn sheep playing in the highway and the groves of Aspen trees quaking and shivering.  The sent of pine and wildflowers.  The chipmunks chattering while they plot to steal a pick nick and the birds chirping the Pee Pee Pee call that means people are close.

We used to go pick wild rose-hips in the fall, take inner tubes down the slopes in winter, go waterfall hunting in spring, play in the little rivers in summer.  Colorado is the best playground a child could have.  It is a good place to be from, healthy and happy even in the worst of times.  It is a place where people offer the extra futon in the basement to complete strangers who can’t go home, who may not have a home to go to.

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