After two decades away, I’ve returned to Colorado. That seems a little silly to say, given that I’m only 26. But, I must have been born with something of Colorado in my blood, in that Fort Collins hospital, all those years ago. “Back” now for barely a month, I find myself already wonderfully at home. That is, Colorado not only is home, it also feels like home. I’ll be here for the foreseeable future.
Toward that end, I’m “going native”:
- New cell phone number: 720-530-4530
- The ZipZip (my indefatigable blue Subaru) is now just one of the crowd of ski-rack sporting Subarus beclad with green Colorado plates
- My presidential vote in November’s election might, for the first time in my life, actually mean something (well, Montana in 2008 was somewhat close)
What makes Colorado different (than Arizona)? Well, mountains, for one. The upwelling of the Rocky Mountains runs thick through Colorado (comprising some 3/5ths of the state), rendering much of the state at once a painterly vision of heaven and a veritable adventurer’s playground. There are more peaks here than I could scale in a hundred lifetimes, more beauty than the widest lens could capture…
But, perhaps more striking than the difference in geography (Arizona, after all is not lacking for geographic interest!) is the difference in culture. It’s a matter of values, a way of looking at the world. I can’t define it–but it’s easy to know when you’re in the midst of it. I can’t way whether Colorado’s mountain culture is better or worse than any other–but I can say with great certainty that it’s a delight to live in a community of people who share one’s values.