Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Luckiest Man Alive

Here I sit...on a bench at the foot of Smuggler mountain, reflecting on months gone by. So much has happened that I really haven't been able to relax and write about just one thing, place, person, or occurrence. Something in the air today somehow made me feel elated and I was finally inspired to write once again.

The bench below me is cold. I can feel the frozen, but thawing wood through my jeans. The strong, bright sun is beating on my face, countered only by the brisk wind sweeping through the valley. This feeling of being frozen one second and toasty the next is one of my favorite feelings in the world. The sun is slowly setting behind Aspen mountain in front of me and below me, covered in the mountain's shadow like a dark, cold blanket, sits downtown Aspen. The ground under my feet shimmers with trodden snow, and speckles of brown grass poke through the sea of white like tiny hairs.

This is my favorite spot in Aspen.

A man strolls across the park, we exchange smiles and he continues on. A few minutes later, a woman in a red coat and her dog appear. The dog is ecstatic to be here, just as I am. He rolls in the snow with joy and I smile as I appreciate the incredible scene in front of me even more. The lady and I exchange pleasantries, which include one of the only things locals know how to speak about recently...the lack of snow. "But nevermind," we say, "life is still amazing."

Many people don't understand the path that I have chosen. A path that has been far from easy or lucrative, but it's these moments, the ones that give me so much happiness and inner peace, that guide me, that have led, and will keep leading me in the right direction.

These mountains, this sun, a place and the ability to appreciate all that has been bestowed upon me, makes me the luckiest man alive.