Well, I’ve been on the ranch for a whole month now and this place, this Colorado—its foreign and new and exciting all the time. Each day I wake up, whether it’s at 5 a.m. or 6 a.m., I think right away that this place the best thing that has ever happened to me. Can a place ‘happen’ to you? I guess so, huh? I’ve never felt so refreshed, so relaxed molded into the area. Going into town is so exciting because every person—the cashier, the barista, the grocery bagger, the river guide—is just so stinking energetic. It revs up my engine and makes me crave a longer hike, a higher mountain, a longer drive just for the scenic route.
And of course, the guests are the most energetic of them all. Each group carries a positive vibe that radiates through us all. This week, as a kid’s counselor, I was in charge of seven-year-old fraternal triplets. They each individually had their own personality, their own look, their own quirks, and none of them were the same height. The smallest of the triplets caught my eye as soon as the family drove into the ranch and were greeted by overwhelming handshakes, hugs and hello’s. She stood a little off to the side from her sisters, hands by her sides and eyes searching the ground. But something told me she wasn’t really that shy.
Have you ever met someone, no matter what the age, that has the same heart as you? This little girl did. Her name was Sydney and everything from her preference of fruit to her favorite day of the week was the same as mine. I felt so attached to her and yet, just like all of our guests, at the end of the week, they leave. Most of them cry because this place feels like home to them too. Sydney didn’t cry though—she didn’t even say goodbye, because like me, she wasn’t too good at goodbyes. It was like she knew we’d see each other again, and who knows, maybe we will.
In the van one day, on our way back from the hot springs she asked me, “So, when I’m 18, how old will you be?” Probably wondering if there was ever any chance of our friendship. I answered her, and her eyes perked up because I guess 31 didn’t seem so old to her.