My Love Letter to Colorado

I am a “Colorado Girl.”

I always wear layers, I always keep an ice scraper in my car “just in case,” and I only know direction in proximity to the mountains.

I have lived in Colorado my entire life, all twenty-six years of it. I have never thought of living anywhere else.

I have forever been mesmerized by the beauty that Colorado has to offer. I have had the luxury of traveling across the majority of the state: from the rugged mountains in the west, to the rolling plains in the east. The terrain has been imprinted on my soul, and I carry it wherever I go. Whenever I leave, I feel disoriented without the mountains to guide me.

I love any works of literature from Colorado authors. I get excited to walk the same streets of someone else’s journey through Colorado. I have lived a farm life on the plains in Kent Haruf’s Plainsong, I have kicked the snow with Bandini in John Fante’s Wait Until Spring, Bandini, and I have indulged in exaggerated mountain life in Diane Mott Davidson’s Culinary Mystery series.

I take personal pride when others find the beauty in Colorado. I believe that my story, and the story of my family is so deeply intertwined with Colorado’s own history, that the two have become one. My great-grandfather died of Black Lung from digging in the belly of Colorado’s mountains. My great-grandmother loved pie made from the succulent peaches that only Colorado’s Western Slope can provide. My grandfather was born in Trinidad, and is buried in Evergreen. He fought for equality with the Crusade for Justice, and served his country in the Air Force. He never forgot his roots, his deep, Colorado roots.

My family has been here longer than most. I have such a connection to this place. The thin air is in my blood.

I began my own family here. My roots will always be here. My son was born in a snowy April. Only Colorado can give the gift of snow, while the rest of the world is preparing for spring.

My entire life can be mapped out in Colorado towns: Denver, Evergreen, Brighton, Greeley. My memories are tangled up with the Blue Spruce and the Rocky Mountain Columbines. I wear my lineage proudly.

My soul will forever carry my Colorado wherever I go. My roots will forever be planted here. Here, where the mountains reside in the west, and the plains in the east. Here, where my family has made a home. Here, in Colorful Colorado.

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