After a wonderful weekend with friends in the mountains, I’m breathing a little lighter and my shoulder muscles aren’t begging for more Advil. It’s amazing what a change of scenery, friendship and ridiculous laughter can do for the soul. (As well as good food and wine.)
And how terrific it is to be reminded that I live not far at all from mountain scenes that are living oil paintings and sunsets that songs are written about. It gives me an even clearer idea about that high John Denver was singing about.
I know is sounds like Mr. Rogers has taken over my keyboard to describe his neighborhood. And I might as well ask “won’t you be mine, won’t you be mine, won’t … you be … my neighbor?” But I’m completely serious. We all have plenty of doses of splendor and beauty not too far away if we make time to notice.
I finally got to witness the glory of autumn’s bright yellow Aspen trees dotting the majestic Rocky mountains as the sun was setting. The pictures I took on my phone through my cloudy car windows didn’t do them justice at all. The colorful displays were more spectacular than I had imagined and I tried to take it all in. Don’t worry, I wasn’t driving.
I got to drive from one side of the Rocky Mountain National State Park to the other, all the way up and over the Continental Divide,watching the tips of the Divide’s snow topped mountains weave in and out of view. I saw more Elk than I could ever imagine and heard their crazy orchestra of bugle calls to each other (think Ricola commercials but with huge elk making the noises instead of the Swedish guys in plaid shorts). It’s mating season and the bugles are blaring.
I was able to swallow my fear long enough to peer out my car window into canyons far below over the steep sides of mountain pass switchbacks without a guardrail in sight. I got to laugh with friends and family, and forget about house projects, work deadlines and school projects. I even got to ride horses against scenery more breathtaking than I can describe during an afternoon that made my heart fuller and my eyes a little wider.
The business of life takes over in my little suburban world, and I forget about all of the natural splendor in my proverbial backyard. I also forget how to not sweat the small stuff, as the popular book says. It really is all relative and it just takes getting outside of yourself long enough to realize it.
For this reminder, I am truly grateful. And for channeling Mr. Rogers. Won’t you be mine?