Last Thursday we flew from Boston to Chicago, Chicago to Denver, and then drove about three hours up into the mountains to Scott's parent's large log home.
Some of you know this and some of you don't: we lived here with them for about two years, the year before we went to Kenya and the year after we came back.
Coming in on Thursday night was more familiar to me than the place I call home now. We always seem to arrive in the dark when we come here. The smells were the same, the views were the same, and most of the furniture was still in the same place.
Coming back to places I've lived before always seemes surreal. I can slip back into the same patterns, and I can't all at the same time. Running into old friends has a glaze of awkwardness of it, until you can spend a moment catching up. I always want to go say hello to all my old haunts, here it's all the trails we've hiked. Crunching up into the snow, in the quiet woods near our parent's home made me ache a bit, I love our new home but solitude and untouched woods are hard to come by on the North Shore. We've been able 'to go exploring in the forest' a few times, Emma in a backpack that she has outgrown, Scott treading lightly about, and me lumbering along. I seem to last about an hour and half, which is about as much hiking in the cold as a two year old can handle.
I am also reminded of the things I didn't like about living here, the dry air that seems to suck the moisture right out of your body, the three hour car ride from the airport, and the quiet. Right now the quiet is welcome, soothing to sink into it and let it wash over us. Back then I remember days where it was deafening and isolating.
Now the landscape covered in bright snow is a relaing welcome to my eyes, but I do remember days where I cursed the snow and wished for anything but.
I could see how there would be times in my life that this place would be exactly what I needed. I think it served as a good bridge for in and out of the developing world. I think I was retired I would love it.
I am thankful for our days here in Colorado, I remember that our first year here I loved it and I remember the second year I struggled because there wasn't much I could do with my one year old daughter. I am thankful that I built relationships with Scott's parents that I couldn't have had we not lived with them. I am thankful that I began to show my art here, Colorado's art scene is a bit friendlier than some parts of the country. I learned a lot while hiking here; about altitude, what elk sign looks like, what rabbit tracks look like in the snow, and what conquering a fourteen thousand foot mountain feels like.
Good, just so you know, it feels good.