Ode to Colorado

This fall, I’m off on a new adventure: Scotland. But as I go about packing my bags and purchasing my rain boots, I’ve found myself aware of the gift that Colorado has been to me this year. Not just the people — although they are probably the greatest gift— but the place… the mountains, the seasons, the moods of the sky. It is a magical place. It deserves and Ode. So, tonight I wrote it one.


My friend Rebecca on a hike with me in the big, big mountains.

An Ode to Colorado

Oh, Colorado. I love your ways.

I love your casual magnificence, the way you brandish sunshine mountains and red rocked glory, even on a Tuesday.

Oh, Colorado. I love your untameableness, your proliferation of shy wild beasts. I love the feeling of never being quite safe, and yet being embraced in the glorious Other.

With you as my residence I feel associated with a power I cannot control, but one which deigns to endure me.

I love your blustering emotions poured out across the afternoon sky. The blistering heat of anger that cools in your marshmallow cloud rains.

I love you best in fall, and only better in summer.

I love your phasing flowers, the summer fields that fade from pink to blue to yellow.

I love when you slip into autumn for a day or two in August, just to sooth our sour, sweating souls.

I love the freckling sunshine that doesn’t outstay its welcome, allowing for Camelot rains.

I love when the awakening breath of autumn chill winds its way through the whistling pines. I love the dawn cold that smells like adventure.

I cherish the gaudy shimmer of the aspen trees dancing across the foothills.

I love the days when there’s nothing to do but listen to celtic music and eat apple muffins.

I even love your hateful winters. I begrudgingly thank you for unplanned snow days. Though I mope and stew, those days give time for thoughts to simmer and rise with a clarity as bright as the blinding snow. In winter, roots grow deep.

I love the eucatastrophe of your springtimes, the way they come in a sudden rush, like someone bursting from a closet to surprise you, scattering violets with every chuckle of self satisfaction.

I love the urgency of your summers, the aching feeling you must drink them up before the glass is dry, or frozen by winter.

And as I lay my head down tonight, witnessing the clashing flashes of lightning and grumbling explosions of thunder, I feel that same urgency. I am urgent with the desire to stand witness to your loveliness that I might not forget it when I’m gone.

The fragrance of falling rain fills my heart with rest and longing.

Wherever I go, thunder will make me think of my mountains.

I will miss you, Colorado.

And I’ll be back.


6 thoughts on “Ode to Colorado

  1. I was raised in the desert, moved to Biola, then settled in Colorado. Though I have lived in other places for different times, Colorado is home. And it is wonderful!

  2. Lovely, just lovely. You Clarksons and your gift for words!!! May blessings follow you to another beautiful place – Scotland! All the best, SG

  3. That was beautiful! Makes me want to go visit Colorado!! Have fun in Scotland! (perhaps you could write an ode for Scotland after you experience its magic and beauty 🙂 )

  4. I hope I can live in Scotland vicariously through you as I have with your sister in Oxford. 😉

    This post reminds me of one of the times Sarah was at my daughter’s house in New England when I visited her. I was talking about how lovely the Smoky Mountains are and how big they appear for someone from a flat Midwest state. Sarah looked honestly surprised and told me if I want to see BIG mountains, I must go to Colorado. The Smoky Mountains are beautiful but not big. Steph and I thought that so funny.

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