Have you ever had one of those moments when you look around at your life and suddenly, unequivocally, you know that all is right and as it should be?
I was walking with my dog on a gorgeous, clear, cold late fall day last year when I was struck by the unexpected perfection of my world. The sun was low in the sky, bathing the mountains around me with the kind of light usually reserved for sentimental movies. The red rocks was glowing, the sky was brilliant blue. I didn’t need rose-colored glasses because at that moment the world around me was literally rose-colored. My dog was happy, and suddenly I, who had not had an exceptionally pleasing day, was happy, too.
As I walked along, I recognized that I am right where I am supposed to be. I couldn’t have felt more content with my life, as memories, emotions and thoughts about the “rightness” of my geographic place in life flooded over me.
I will be the first to tell you that I haven’t always felt this way. I live in the town where I was born and where I graduated from High School. I don’t remember an overwhelming urge to get the heck out of my hometown, but when I left for college I had it in my mind that I was leaving and that I might just be leaving for good.
An avid and obsessive skier, my goal was to live in a ski town where I could walk to the lifts, ski a couple of hours a day, and bask in the reflected glow of the good life. When my husband and I became engaged, he had a one-item pre-nuptial agreement for me. “Don’t ever ask me to live in your home town,” he said. “No problem,” I replied and it was agreed. We moved East.
Three years later we were back in Colorado, me dreaming of a ski town, him dreaming of my home town. While he could never put his finger on exactly what made him change his mind, I acquiesced. He chose our “new” hometown and suddenly, everything new to him was old, old, old to me.
When we lived in the East I was in graduate school. I met a friend there who was from Long Island, New York. He was as obsessed with mountain biking as I am with skiing. He was also obsessed with talking and talked about mountain biking constantly. One day, when there was a brief lull in his mental and verbal soliloquy he asked me “Where are you from?” “Colorado,” I answered. His eyes widened. “Wow. Where?” he asked. I told him. “Wow. Where?” he asked again.
So I told him, drawing on my home’s relationship to places I thought he might know. “It is two hours from Aspen, two hours from Telluride, two hours from Vail, three hours from Crested Butte and one-and-a-half hours from Moab.” A light came on in his eyes and a grin lit up his face. “I get it,” he said. “You are from the Center of the Universe.”
Galileo notwithstanding, I had to agree and once again, I agree. I may not be able to walk to the ski lifts or ski everyday, but I can bike to some of the world’s finest singletrack and hike to my heart’s content. I am still an avid and obsessive skier. But by living in the Center of My Universe, I have my choice of the world’s finest ski slopes orbiting around me, beckoning, inviting and easily within reach. My family and friends inhabit this Universe with me, and my dog and I can walk in a rose-colored world, where we know that everything is as it should be. How could I be anyplace else?
This post is adapted from a piece which was originally published in January 2011 by GV Magazine.
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