Chasing Colorado: A Wonderful Welcome
For most of my life I was a runner. And I do not mean a runner in the sense of my feet hitting the pavement, logging miles type of runner. I mean a runner in the sense that anytime anything went "horribly" wrong, I would run, flee, sprint away. Not chasing anything, just getting the hell out. I've run away to different towns, trotted back and forth between states, and even galloped my way to other countries to escape whatever turmoil I was experiencing at the time. (Though, honestly, this was mostly horrible break-ups.)
After these races, maybe even marathons, no place and everywhere felt like home all at one time. And for many, while it is comforting to feel like everywhere is home, to me it was draining me. I would tell friends "I left a bit of my heart here, in this place, and this place. Oh, and my left ventricle is sitting in the sand on this beach here." And that made it so hard to feel so whole in so many places.
So I began to look for places where my heart could be whole. I began chasing my heart around trying to gather all the pieces or at least began searching for a place where I could atleast feel the different parts of my heart vibrating from afar.
I tried jogging back to the east coast and couldn't feel my pieces at all. Tried skipping off to Florida, and as much as the sun warmed my soul and I was happy as a clam wriggling my toes in the sand, my heart was not whole and thus I knew I needed more. Back "home" to Chicago, traversing between neighborhoods and still not a feeling in my heart that this was where all of my pieces could come together and be whole and at home.
But then, we drove, darting across statelines, until we saw the sign: "Welcome to Colorado". And there, my heart felt something. A little twinge, tingle or pang, it was little, but I felt it. We drove further, cantering through Denver. And, ah, my heart siezed just a tad. Off in the distance the Rockies called. We rushed farther and faster into the mountains and my heart began shaking and dancing and shivering in my rib cage. The pieces were coming together, vibrating. We dove further, deeper into the mountains, onward into Mother Nature. And somewhere, on a hike, in my new favorite place. I knew what I was chasing.
Colorado: the life. The life in Colorado, the life of Colorado. The destinations, the views, the connection to the outdoors, the restaurants, the hiking trails, the bike paths and lanes, the festivals, the national parks and forests, the cities and the mountain towns, the happiness and kindness, the 360 days of sun, the breakfast burritos, the green chili, the elk and bison burgers, the beers.
I could go on and on and on AND on. But this, here, this is what I was chasing. I was chasing Colorado.