Monday, January 19, 2015

The other side of the coin

My favorite tree has forever been the maple--hands down.  I grew up in Vermont and am 100% emotionally attached to my home state.  As a matter of fact, the East Coast as a whole lives so deep in my bones that as soon as we entered Pennsylvania on our big road trip this summer, I felt a layer of tension I didn't even realize was there release.  The deep, dense forest and endless green replenishing my soul, the word "home" whispering just under conscious thought.  I experience this every time I go east and know I always will.  Once while driving north from Boston to Vermont, I unrolled my window and became so overwhelmed by the smell of hydrandeas I could feel my heart break knowing how many times since moving west I'd missed out on this explosion of springtime life.  No doubt about it, the East Coast nourishes and comforts me from the inside out.

When we first moved to Colorado 5 years ago, the dry air and resulting brown grass were like a punch to the gut.  I was speechless, but for reasons I hadn't expected.  Afraid I couldn't appreciate the striking Rocky Mountains as much as I'd anticipated, I got to work recalibrating my expectations.  It didn't happen right away but over these past 5 years I've grown to love what this part of the country has to offer.  Loving the mountains is easy, but feeling connected to the foothills took this green mountain girl a lot longer.  It wasn't until this bonus year of ours here in Boulder that I realized I not only appreciate it, but cherish it.  As the abundance of life back east quenches, the absence of it here clarifies.  Now grateful for the stripped landscape each winter, I can get lost in thought tracing silhouettes of bare serpentine cottonwood branches, now my 2nd favorite tree, against the never ending sky.

These 2 lives used to make me feel torn and incomplete.  Now I know without them, there would always be something missing.  We will move on to a new place sometime soon.  I will mourn the loss but can't wait to see what part of me I discover when we get there.

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