30 years ago, my family moved from Los Angeles County to Colorado Springs, Colorado, and I was fifteen and going to be a junior in high school, scared, angry, and determined to return to California two years later for college, near extended family and the beach…
But something happened in those last two years of high school — I fell in love with the mountains and blue skies, played varsity softball for two frigid fall seasons of high school, and made some incredible friends at church youth group (and went to a weeklong summer camp at Silver Cliff just one week after moving here!), found connections, saw snow for the first time in my life that September on my new friend’s birthday, and joined a bunch of things like yearbook and school clubs.
I made great strides at becoming someone who finally understood what it felt like to be new, which eventually helped me in other avenues of life when being the new person again and discovering how to reach out.
I learned to appreciate Colorado’s four season weather and blossoms and snow, and as a college student decided to stay in state and attend Colorado Christian University in the Denver area. There, too, a new English education student, I made some incredible friends, found a great work study position and RA role, and thrived as I established roots. Through four years there, I realized I was capable of loving where I landed, and finding my way in positive, healthy ways. But my heart continued to pull back toward Colorado Springs, a special place for home, so after student teaching in Golden and traveling with Wycliffe for a season, I returned to the Springs.
For 30 years this state has been home, and will continue to be my favorite place to live.
With the swaying trees and peace of the Black Forest, to colorful delicate pink spring petals downtown, unexpected sunset colors in a tulip, gentle autumn of orange and yellows canopies of trees overhead at Cottonwood Park, stalks of gladiolus, pristine mountain lakes at RMNP, the soft fresh snow of a brisk winter morning, fragrant spring lilacs in my yard, or the layers of a sunset stretched across a darkening sky behind the mountains I know so well at the high school where I teach. I feel grateful to live in such a majestic state.