I’ve talked before about how I love travel. I love both the startling and the subtle differences of a new landscape, a different history, an unfamiliar culture.
Recently, I spent a weekend in Boulder, Colorado. I was there for a seminar, so I had only about a day on my own to explore.
I covered a lot of ground over those 18 hours, both on foot and by car.
As I wandered, many things captured my senses. The way heat feels different on your skin. (Turns out “it’s a dry heat” is kind of true.) The way the plant life is beautiful but also sharp and prickly, reminding you that even the delicate flowers know how to protect themselves. The way everyone seems to be tanned and athletic, and yet no one bothers with makeup or coloring their hair.
I was struck by the juxtaposition of new and old. Architecture from different periods lives comfortably side by side. Colorado’s rough and ready history spills into a thriving arts and technology scene. There is new construction going on everywhere, even as the ancient mountains loom silently over the city.
It all came together for me in the facade of a large old church. Its combination of unfinished stone and carefully wrought carvings seem to symbolize everything about how this part of the country is structured… and unstructured.
You may carve out your little piece of this part of the world, but the rocky mountainsides will always be bigger and more beautiful.