It’s amazing the joy that little things can bring to your life. Often in ways that defy description. That first hot cup of coffee in the morning, without which the day is doomed. The perfect red jacket — not orangey but a true, deep glorious scarlet — found after two years of searching. A bowl of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream when absolutely no other brand or flavor will do. That pearl-and-gold ring you were given as a child more than 60 years ago — a double miracle that you still have it and can still wear it. The sound of a rushing mountain stream — what is it about that sound that touches the soul? A tiny blue forget-me-not — alive and blooming — in a rocky crevice at 11,000 feet.
And sometimes it’s looking out your back window and, for the first time ever, seeing an aspen tree in your yard. A slender little whip of a tree — two of them, actually — with tiny, brilliant green leaves barely larger than peas. I couldn’t afford my dream home on an aspen-covered mountainside, but it finally dawned on me that I could plant aspens where I am. I even added a little pine tree. If I can’t live up in the mountains, then a bit of them will just have to live down here with me.
Last night for the first time I looked out at my aspens in my yard. They were backlit by the setting sun and set off against the dark wood of the neighbor’s deck. Tiny, translucent leaves — aspen leaves — danced in the breeze.
Colorado, I have finally arrived.