Whew! Just back from visiting my daughter and grandson after a hiatus of nearly four years in the wilds of central Colorado, in Crestone at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains overlooking the San Luis valley. It was a wonderful visit which enabled us to share our warm feelings for each other and for me to get to see and feel the reality of her living situation. It was special because it’s either a two day trip or one very, very long day journey. One I can’t make very often.
Crestone, a community with many spiritual retreats (sort of like Sedona but much less developed and therefore much purer in spirit) is four hours south of Denver by bus through beautiful scenery, located at an elevation of over eight thousand feet. High and dry. Very high and very dry. So high that my breathing was labored even after several days to acclimate and any exertion required long rests for me. The surroundings are beautiful, the geography is interesting and intense, wildlife abounds and the inhabitants of the area are worthy of engagement. I was sorry to come to the end of my stay but I was eager to return to Alameda.
At sea level again I can breathe without concentrating on the activity, I can walk further than two hundred yards without collapsing and I am back among friends and family. I love my daughter and my grandson and I was impressed by the place she has chosen to live. I’m glad to have seen it and experienced it first-hand but in many ways it made me appreciate Alameda even more than I usually do.
Alameda is where I feel comfortable, physically, mentally and emotionally and coming back home from a place that is in such contrast made my appreciation grow. Who would have thought that such a small distance as a mile and a half would put a person in a totally different world. Of course, the mile and a half is straight up and the air feels half as thin as the air at sea level. The air of Alameda, thick, misty, lung filling and sweet. Home sweet home.