A Colorado Love Letter

Dear Colorado,

I love you.

I bet you’re chuckling a little bit right now, aren’t you? I thought maybe you’d be giggling but you’re not really a giggler. You’re more of a smirker or chuckler. I finally figured out why people are so drawn to you. You’re enchanting. You have this way about you that draws people in. We feel safe here with you.

Even when I wasn’t crazy about you, I always felt safe with the Rockies to the west of me. It felt a little bit like shelter from the crazy storm. Like you opened your arms wide enough to stretch down the state and cover me from the harsh reality of the world. The Rockies make me feel protected. Like I could run away into them, cry out the pain, and you’d understand. You wouldn’t judge me or tell me to stop. You’d let me cry and cry and cry until it was all gone. The years have weathered you but you rise up majestic and strong.

I always knew what to expect from you when I’d glance on top of Pike’s Peak. You don’t often throw surprises and I love that about you. Granted, you’re fickle, but you’re not harsh. I’m sorry I was so angry the last time I was here and when I moved back. You softened me. You made me better. You cracked away at my protective shell and made me vulnerable but strong.

Without fail, I managed to fall in love with the wrong people. But this time my heartbreaks were different. They were a little more grown up and a little less devastating. You helped me become that woman. A woman who could handle what life decides to throw. You gave me the most precious years I could have asked for with my parents. You gave me deep soul connections with people. You gave me everything I needed and some things I wanted.

You are wild. You constantly amaze me. Sometimes I still catch my breath when there is a slight haze as the sun sets behind my cherished mountains. I look at the colors and think that you are the backdrop of beauty that stops us all in our track. You catch our attention time and time again. And those sunrises I (rarely) see? The ones that burst forth in fiery shades of red, rich purples, stunning pinks, and cracks of blue. And when they dance their shadows on top of Pike’s Peak leaving no question why the words “purple mountains majesty” came to mind. Those are the moments I believe Papa’s heart is for beauty.

Thanks for loving me the way only you can. Thanks for letting me shatter and be fixed only to crack again. Thanks for helping me cross things off my bucket list! Thanks for camping, and the Incline, thanks for hiking and 5k’s. Thanks for trips to the hot springs and winter ski vacations. Thanks for my first kiss. Thanks for laughter. Thanks for tears. Thanks for the times I screamed at the top of my lungs. Thanks for the nights where I looked at the stars and wondered how I ended up here. Thanks for being the only one who has seen me.

So Colorado, when I came home with tears streaming down my face, I was singing a Starfield song about how frankly, I didn’t believe in anything anymore. I heard those mocking words from Hosea about deserts being redeemed and full of life. I ached. I was so very lost. And now I’m going to leave, with tears streaming down my face, as I watch my beloved mountains slowly fade into the distance, but this time I’m singing how you make beautiful things out of the dust. And I have a place of hope instead of heartbreak.

I can’t thank you enough for what you have done to me.

Once again, I love you.

With all my heart,

Rach

ps. This is dedicated to all of the amazing people that made Colorado what it is for me.

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