So, I’ve been on the ranch for over a week now and have never been happier. There’s a different kind of people. It’s small town, but not southern small town. People raise a hand or a couple of fingers from the steering wheel when we pass one another on the ten-mile dirt road. It’s only been a week and I can’t imagine my life without waking up to the cool mountain air that feels so fresh on my face, waking me up instead of my morning coffee.
I’ve done everything from raking leaves, power-washing decks, staining, well, everything, and scrubbing cabins (and no, I haven’t had to shovel any poop yet). I spend about ninety percent of my day outside which seems natural to my skin. A few of the employees from previous summers have been stopping by, lending a helping hand, and teaching the new staff all the things that aren’t in the handbook. They’re incredible too.
People actually talk here because, quite frankly, there isn’t really anything else to do. I haven’t looked at a TV screen since the first night we got here and watched Tombstone. We’ve been spilling our hearts to one another because that’s just what happens when you see things like the majestic Rockies. They take my breath every time, and I’m not really sure whether it’s from the altitude or just their vast sublimity.
Today, a few of us girls sat down and had a conversation about the holistic ability of energy. That, cosmically, we are all the same, somehow connected with one another in ways that we can’t comprehend, by energy that never really reveals itself. A girl told me something that I’ll never forget. And, please understand that this a rough paraphrase. But she pointed to the aspen trees laced perfectly with the spruce trees and explained that aspen trees are one of the largest living organisms in the world. Their roots are all connected. And the reason they are laced with spruce is because aspen trees are the protectors of spruces. When spruces are just little babies, aspen trees will grow just next to them and shade them from the sun because the spruce can’t survive in full sunlight. Once the spruce reaches its full potential, the aspen are usually killed off. But the aspen is okay with it because they job is to be the protectors, forming an underground network that can span for miles (the Aspen Ridge, which is just over the mountain next to us).
It explains Colorado to me–the way it makes me feel. The people here are both spruces and aspens at one point in their lives, protecting or growing and always helping out no matter where there are in the world.