Thursday, February 21, 2013

Colorado

This past weekend Ricky and I made a quick dash up to Colorado. Neither of us have ever been to our northern neighbor state, and we had a long weekend and grandparents who wanted to spend time with the littles (God bless them, seriously.) Denver is definitely on the "places we would love to live" list, and lately we're keeping our eyes open for Possibilities.


It was lovely, as expected. Colorado is beautiful in a similar way to New Mexico, actually. Lots of high desert in the southern part. And then, more mountains and snow, but the same big blue sky and wide views. I re-discovered the joy of night driving on the way up (thank you, This American Life, the Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, and Ray LeMontagne, for that) and we made it to Pueblo late, got some sleep, and then drove up to Denver the next morning. I have to say, I think Denver is the friendliest place I've ever been. I think NM is pretty friendly, but we felt downright rude in comparison. Everyone seems to have time to talk. We had fun exploring downtown Denver....went to the Denver Art Museum (they had a Georgia O'Keefe exhibit that was interesting, and the whole museum was super kid-friendly), checked out the Colorado State Capitol, and went to see this play. We both enjoyed it--it dealt with a lot of universal themes, like grief and being stuck, and the slow process of moving on, and I was, as always, so impressed with what theater actors can do with a small space and very few props, and how we can find so much of ourselves in someone else's story.


On Sunday morning we ate crepes at a cute restaurant next to the City Park, then drove north to Boulder (the happiest town in the U.S., apparently.) We wandered around the university, walked downtown (very crunchy-outdoorsy, very happy-looking). Everyone was out and about--reading books, drinking coffee, watching their kids play on kid-sized climbing rocks (Nicky would be in heaven.) It was colorful and interesting. I didn't see a single overweight person, and there's kind of a dress code.  North Face jacket or vest, khakis or long flowing skirt, Minnetonka moccasins (want), hand-knit beanie, cute dog, kids in adorably mismatched clothes, bicycle, vegan snacks in your backpack, etc. I guess if you have to have a dress code, that's not a bad one. We had just a little time to drive up into the mountains, then headed back to Denver.


(Not pregnant, no sir. Just standing like it.)

Sunday night was really special. We went to a service at House for all Sinners and Saints, an inclusive Lutheran church that I've been interested in ever since I saw a video of their pastor here. She was actually out of town so we didn't get to meet her, but the service was beautiful and nourishing, and I'm so glad we went.


It was a group of 50 or so, gathered in a parish hall, with chairs set up in an oval formation. I loved the simplicity and humility of the liturgy, the acapella singing, the depth of the songs, and even though I have differing theological views on the Eucharist, I loved that part too (I doubt I'll ever find a church that I completely agree with, and I'm working on being okay with that.) I loved the quiet, the reverence, the poetry, the opportunity for stillness and reflection. I could have easily been a shaky mess the entire time, because I was so hopeful, and because it was so, so good, but I mostly kept it together. Church has been complicated for a long time; this was just peace. Just. peace. What a gift.


Afterward, we walked around in the cold, got some Thai food, and processed the experience out loud. I'm still processing inwardly.

We drove back in a straight shot on Monday, and picked up the littles late that night. They all looked bigger. I want to go back, and take them along next time. Maybe this summer.

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