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Thursday, November 29, 2012

The late November Boulder sky has been something to marvel at lately. The early mornings and setting sun of the evenings stretch across the sky, an expansive canvas of pinks, oranges, and yellows bathing in the last remnents of the sun. The clouds, spilling out from the tips of the Flatirons, soak in the warm hues of dusk, coating the sky in a rich, velvety fabric that you could seemingly reach out and touch. A few evenings (and one Godforesaken early morning) this past week, I witnessed the artistry of Mother Nature when riding my bike or walking home from class. Each time, I stopped and stared, even if for just a few seconds, at the sky's dying glow. The transition into nighttime brought equally fantastic skies- a bright moon illuminating the cresting peaks of the silloutted mountains, the stars dappling the black abyss through a slight haze of smokey, effervescent clouds. It expanded above me like a perfect Ansel Adams photograph, the gradient of black to white striking as the sky dipped behind the horizon. 

It is Boulder's incredble beauty which has impeled me to stop and gaze into the sky, like a lost child, and fill my lungs with the crisp autumn air while enjoying these "spots of time." While I have always tried to remember to slow down, smell the proverbial flowers, and enjoy each of life's moments, it has never been as easy as it is now. This is likely due to an impending move to Dallas, Texas in June, where I accepted my first real-live, tax-paying, participating-citizen-of-this-country job. Seven months from now, the Flatirons won't drape behind the crimson roofs of campus as I walk to class. I might not see the brightest stars eseemingly emenating from gleaming moon. And, almost certainly, I won't be able to enjoy many of Texas' sun sets from the side of the road, pulled off from a bike lane, without people honking their horns at me or questioning my sanity. In Boulder, this is commonplace. I don't know what it will be like in Texas.

I recall a similar feeling at leaving my hometown, four and a half years ago, to attend school in Boulder. The 14,000 foot mountian that towered over Colorado Springs, sometimes capped with a layer of snow, was always a source of comfort for me. The first time I visited home after being at school, I ached to see that mountain, in whatever weather condition, as a physical reminder of where I'm from. Who would have thought that the Flatirons have also stolen a piece of my heart, just as my long-time home had? I never would have guessed that I would take a minute to really visualize the sky, to feel the cool air rushing through my nostrils and into my lungs, to watch my breath fog up before my face, just barely misting the scene in front of me. It is this kind of memory, the description I want to remember, that is the reason I didn't take a picture. You'll just have to imagine it (or come see) for yourself someday.

This is not a sad blog post- it is a happy one. It is evidence of the ability of successful human transition; it is evidence of the good that change brings. While I can still clearly see Pikes Peak after a snowstorm beneath an aqua sky in Colorado Springs, I want to always be able to recall the exquisite aesthetics of the Boulder Sky and the Flatirons when the sun sets in late November. For the next seven months, I am going to make every effort to enjoy every last nook and cranny of this town, and to enjoy every single sunset. And, I can't wait to see what story will unfold, and what beautiful images will come, of my new home in Dallas. 

International Affairs, Anthropology • Colorado Springs, Colorado

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