As I mentioned before, I had the opportunity to reminisce about growing up in Colorado for a few days on our vacation. It’s been 10 years since I moved away, though I’ve been back to visit a few times. It’s strange to me how much change my life has gone through since I moved, considering I spent the first 16 years of it living in the same house, going to the same small school and church with the same people. Life was small and comfortable, and though we took a lot of trips they were usually to the same local spots in the mountains. My childhood was extremely rooted in Colorado, and even the smells of the cottonwoods and the mountains bring me back to Saturday afternoon hikes in the Rockies, or biking the sunny path by the Platte River.
There are a lot of similarities I see between Portland and Denver. The same vibrant young feel downtown, lots of great food, outdoorsy people, excellent beer. Differences include much better Mexican in Denver, and much less moss.
I visited a lot of the places of my childhood, and though they didn’t change much, it looked so different. Everyone knows how strange it is to be pulled back through time to somewhere that doesn’t exactly exist anymore.
Since I moved I’ve lived in Michigan, Lincoln, Nebraska, and Portland, Oregon, with short stays in San Francisco, a small town in Austria, and Prague. I left on my first international travel the summer after we moved and I constantly itch for more. And yet, when I visit Colorado, I could see myself moving back someday. The sun, the mountains, the crisp dry air combines to create a lovely scent of memory. One of the best kinds of scents.