It used to be that driving south on I25 meant heading for Colorado Springs, for grandparents with a little blue house and a little red truck I’d borrow for the weekend, along with the stern “Be careful, now” and the knowledge that no matter how often I drove, I’d never pay for gas. It meant the obligatory trip to the chapel at the Air Force Academy, to listen as the organist filled the triangular space with hymns and the cadets ran between buildings. It meant a stop at the 4th Infantry Division memorial, to bring sunflowers to Kendall and check beneath that rock to see if my letter was still there. It meant driving until forever met the sunset behind Pikes Peak. It meant history and exboyfriends and family that was lost and then found and then broken and thrown away.
My brother and sister and I are sitting silently in her rental Dodge, listening to Transatlanticism and drinking Bhakti chais. The car smells faintly of someone’s last cigarette, the scent of it clinging to the cotton of our shirts like Burberry cologne. And the mountains fly by at an alarming pace. I am struck by the knowledge that this may very well be the last of the Colorado trips for a long, long time.
I’ve been coming here since I was ten years old. Six years of my life have been grown in this red Colorado soil. I fell in love with the Glenwood canyon here, the sharp, angled lines of it in the brilliant July sunshine. I watched my first major league baseball game here and was converted to their cause by the time Rocktober came around. There were four straight years of standing on a Denver street with a hot cup of coffee in my hands, watching the Parade of Lights go by. There was the boy who claimed to love me and the man after him that actually had my heart. There was an Army base where I knew the depth of commitment of a soldier. The commitment that goes past death and into the bones of a family.
I have loved the mountains and the rivers and the aspens and the too big too blue sky until it was engraved into my shoulders and etched across my collarbones like tattoos. I have felt that my soul found its home here. And I have been wrong.
Because while Colorado may be very much like heaven to me, my Home is very much where my Beloved is. And He is with me always.
So I will take this plane to Georgia and be more than content. I will sing with joy at His providence and love for me. Because in Him, I am finding my way home.
He has given me every reason to stay.