Sunset/Sunrise.

Happy Sunday, friends!  How was everyone’s weekend?  Mine was perfect.

Saturday, I went for a run with darling Felicia (and saw an outdoor showing of Finding Nemo with her and her fiance’s families, who agreed to adopt me for the weekend) and helped another good friend prime a wall in her apartment (followed by celebratory beers and burgers).  Spent my Sunday catching up with family, puttering around the apartment, and laying by the pool.

Skyline Park

Waiting for dusk in Skyline Park.

Recently, I’ve had a few truths bubble up – some were welcome, some I’d been avoiding.  It’s often easier to be the ostrich who buries your head in work or travel or a beer or five with friends, but all the while, there’s a simmering, nagging knowledge that whatever you’re ignoring, of course, won’t actually go away.  So I took a few days to rest, eat good food, work out, and spend leisurely hours with people I love, who love me too, and it gave me the strength to face all the unpleasant truths.

And the funny thing is, I feel so much better!  A lot of things are changing, and some things will need to change before too long.  Accepting these truths hurt like hell, but I know it’ll all be okay.

After dinner, I took my glass of chardonnay outside and sat on a rock – still warm with the day’s heat – and watched the sunset.  I was upset at first because I had gotten distracted and the sun was already behind the Rockies by the time I reached my seat.  But it was still so beautiful – pink clouds above me, with a knife edge of bright orange lining the clouds that hung just above the mountains.  The pink soon faded to pearly gray, and the thumbnail of moon grew brighter.

Colorado sunset

To expect those clouds to hold their shape, or to try to stop them losing their glow from the sun, would be futile at best.  But those clouds will reform in a new pattern, and the sun will disappear behind those same mountains again tomorrow.  While it won’t be the same, a brand new beauty will appear again tomorrow night, and for those of us lucky enough to be here, all we have to do is look.

Here’s hoping tomorrow brings us all a brand new adventure, our eyes are open to see it, and our hearts are open to embrace it.

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Friends!  I’ve been absentee lately – the last month or two have been ridiculously fun.  I went to a bachelorette party in the Poconos, my beautiful step-sister got married near Chicago, a co-worker’s daughter had her bat mitzvah, and OH YEAH, I got published in a literary magazine.

But today’s topic is my long-awaited, glorious return to New York City.  Yes, kids, after a 20-month separation from my former home, I was able to tag along on a last-minute work trip to NYC.

Park Slope

During my first year in Colorado, I had an unfocused desire to return to New York, mostly to visit friends I missed with a constant ache.  But there were other trips to take and new mountains to ski, and New York was a someday plan.  Then, a few months ago, someone at work sent a link to a hotel, which happened to be a block and a half from my old office.  I turned on Google street view and digitally walked down 26th street, which I’d done almost daily for six years.  I thought about the $10 manicure place I’d sneak out to at lunch whenever I had a date or needed a pick-me-up.  I navigated on the screen towards the Duane Reade pharmacy I’d wander around in search of snacks.

They were all pedestrian memories – literally – but it was like I could taste the flavor of my old life, and all I wanted was another slice.  So when my boss asked if I wanted to go to New York, the spring of barely contained longing overflowed in tears.  After a side eye and an incredulous “are you gonna cry?” I contained myself, and off we went.

By the time I left New York in 2012, I was capital D Done.  The teeter-totter of adventures vs. frustrations had tipped, and those frustrations were almost all I could see.  After building a restorative new life in Colorado, all I could see upon my return was home.  The shck shck shck of the subway cars on the tracks, the feel of wearing humidity like a wetsuit, the smell of…all of the things, all at once, even sitting in Midtown traffic: I had a weird urge to roll down the cab windows and lick everything.

West Village

All I wanted was to feel like I lived there again, so I had lunch with a friend on the Highline and got $10 manis at the place on 26th, and then I headed to a friend’s in Brooklyn, where we ordered Indian food and watched the Tony awards.  The next day I had coffee in Park Slope and headed into the city to visit the old office – we ate donut holes in the conference room and talked about their new babies and recent trips, and how nice the new carpet looked.  I had the great pleasure of seeing these people, who had borne with me through moves and break-ups, being the first to learn about my mom’s cancer and helping to plan her African safari to celebrate her return to health, and telling them how incredibly happy I am now.

After a charming Upper West Side lunch with one friend, happy hour with another, dinner with two more of my favorites, and one last sleep in Brooklyn, we boarded our flight back to Denver.  My soul felt refreshed, and my heart was full, both by those precious few hours in familiar surroundings (which had once felt so foreign and scary), and by the knowledge that the Rocky Mountains were waiting.

I’d ask somebody to pinch me, but I’d like to keep living this dream.