Thank you for sharing in this blog and allowing me to cast my thoughts out into the nothingness of the web with the slight hope that someone was reading. I hope that your own paths have taken you far.
Enjoy every chaotic and ambiguous turn.
Out the door I go. Clothes thrown on, pack loosely filled, and food hastily eaten. I do not know myself right now, but I know that I must get out. Find peace and contemplation. The trail is steep and rocky as I start. It feels as though I will climb forever. It feels as though I am barely catching my breath or even moving my legs. This is my penance, I think to myself. For what, I do not know. My goal is the Marion Mine. So, I press on and allow little time to pity myself or dismay over the trail. The path is challenging and rewarding as I go along. Rocky, steep switchbacks give way to smooth steps through Aspen groves. The trees seem to press in on me and the path. It is as if they embrace me. A warm, welcoming, and safe embrace. I continue on past forks and signs until the shambles of the mine are in view. I stop before them in quiet celebration of my successful pilgrimage. Goal attained -- destination reached.
As I look upon the ruins of the mine -the buildings falling; beams rotting- I think of the temporary nature of man and his creations. Our ways and our efforts will all crumble in the face of time. But the mountain, the trees, and the river will continue long past our time. I am entranced by the natural surroundings. I may have reached my goal, but I desire to explore more.
I venture past the mine in shambles and follow the sound of the river. Some light scampering over rocks and trees allows me to discover a retreat. A beautiful waterfall cascades down boulders. It is small, but the sound is big and peaceful. The small river winds down through the rocks, pools at the bottom, and then continues on through the trees in the valley. The space is secluded - surrounded by trees and large rocks. There is a hidden sanctuary feel to it. Yet, a seated perch on one boulder affords me a view of not only the secluded falls and river, but also the great mountain that towers above. The tall Aspen trees seem to reach up as high as they can - like hands stretching into the blue of the sky. But the rocky cliff prevails above.
As I sit in secluded peace and allow every part of the scene to settle within me, one part catches my eye. The tiniest of details of this very beautiful scene. I look below where my feet rest to the river passing through rocks. It is fall here and the warm yellow extends from the trees down to the ground where leaves find a final resting place. In one of the smallest of eddies among the rocks, a perfect yellow aspen leaf floats. As the current passes by, the leaf spins in place. Drops of water sit lightly on top and go along for the ride. There is beauty in its motion - slowing, stopping, spinning again. Half wanting to wash away in the busy current and half wanting to stay where it is and find a resting place.
I contemplate this image among the serenity of the trees and rushing of the falls, when a cold breeze blows through the scene. My muscles tighten at the chill and I realize that it is time to depart. This sanctuary has shared with me peace and some of its limitless time. Now, I must finish that pilgrimage. The return path. It is familiar and yet everything is new.
So, my last post was all about how I didn't know and somehow thoroughly enjoyed that fact.
That post was also last year.
Here I am writing in the year 2010. In fact, I am a full four months into this year. The new year came and passed quickly, I will tell you that. Oh, I celebrated it with some close friends. We celebrated quite a bit... too much really! But, that happens.
Now, it has been just a week since my 24th birthday. Crazy stuff. It has also been two years since I graduated college and a full six years since I graduated high school. Time is odd and I am no where near where I once expected at that time. So it goes...
As for "I Don't Know", well... I know a little more.
I am still in Manitou Springs and still love my little apartment. It is honestly a little sanctuary from the world and cares outside. I often relish the solitude and peacefulness. Point of fact, the loneliness that I once felt overwhelmingly as I sat within these walls has melted away. Perhaps it has been the changes in my life.
First: Work! I have been working much more at the ice cream shop and I am currently at four days a week. This really helps make ends meet and relieves some of the stress concerning money. Also, I picked up a second job as a tour guide in a commercial cave. Yep, I often spend most of my days under ground! The cave is really amazing, but the commercialization of the cave is frustrating and often chaotic. However, I keep busy and paid.
Second: Interests! I have really picked up some of my interests and hobbies again. Guitar playing was first and has been slowly progressing. No concerts yet. My photography was next and has picked up the most. I have been taking hundreds of photos and sorting through them like mad. I am pulling together collections and hope to get them into a gallery soon. In fact, you can see some of them at my Art Photography site. Next was my continuous pursuit for wine, both enjoying and eventually making. I have been taking classes here in town to better enjoy and understand wine. I have been reading and studying and hope to take a sommelier certification course soon. Also, I have been making and maintaining connections with Colorado wine makers. Has been fun! And, most recently I have become hooked on climbing. I know, I should have caught on more while at college, but I tend to do things at my own pace. Funny thing is that it only took a couple trips to a new gym in C. Springs for me to realize how much I enjoy it. So, I have been buying gear, hitting the gym, and looking for people to go outdoor climbing. Sweet times~!
Third: Future! I will only be in the Manitou area till the end of May. That's right, I "know" a little about what I will be doing! I will be moving to Glenwood Springs, CO. A couple of my friends and I will be subletting a house in Glenwood for the summer and we will all be working out there. I have an awesome job. I am going to be a high-ropes course and zip-line guide for a Glenwood Canyon rafting company! The course is being newly built this spring and will feature zip-lines crossing the river - sweet! I will be trained the first week of June and then will work all summer-- 40 hrs a week/10hrs a day! Also, moving to Glenwood gets me closer to Colorado wine country and my hope is to find work and experience in the industry. I am going to make it happen!
So, life is pretty good despite all of the rough patches. I lost my last grandparent last October. I lost my dog last month. Also, my father's health has been iffy -- but he keeps working. Other than that, I just dealt with my own depression and insecurities.
But I did deal with them and continue to do so.
I keep moving and I endure the trials so that the rewards are that much sweeter.
Although, I prefer my rewards dry and full-bodied~!