There’s a park down the street from us that sits on top of a hill overlooking the Rocky Mountains. When you catch the sunset from there, you can finally understand what purple and blue and orange and pink mountain majesty means.
And there’s a place near nothing but 14,000-feet-above-sea-level peaks where you climb and climb and after breaking through the tree line, you enter into an alpine meadow full of wildflowers and meandering streams and you finally know the feeling of being undone by glory.
And there’s this thin, dry air all around us here that when you breathe it in, you don’t feel any ghosts, and you don’t feel any fear, and you don’t feel any limits.
And all this we are leaving.
In less than two months, we will be packing up our little house in Denver and moving 900 miles away, back to Minnesota.
I’m excited to move back. I miss my family and friends there.
But I’m also incredibly sad. Colorado has become home.
We have formed routines and found secret places only we know here. We fell in love here and got married here. We grew up and went on countless adventures.
And it’s confusing because I’ve never mourned a place before.
I’ve never had to grieve over soil and granite and climate.
And honestly I’m not sure how to do it.
How do you start to let go of home while you still live there?
How do you say goodbye to a landscape?
How do you get closure with aspen trees and 70 degree days in January and views from the top of mountain peaks?
Going through this process feels a lot like a slow break-up. Like we are losing something dear. Something we thought would last forever.
Josh, it’s time we part.
But there are trees on my block I haven’t identified yet.
It doesn’t matter. It needs to be now.
But there are bakeries we haven’t had cinnamon rolls at yet.
I know. I know.
And there are breweries we haven’t tried yet. And mountains we haven’t climbed yet. And what about all the plans we had? And what about Telluride? And what about Crested Butte? And what about our bench at Wash Park? And we have those Red Rocks tickets already purchased. And what if we can’t find another Copper Door? And what if we don’t find another Dillon? And we have so much history here. And we fell in love here. And we have our best memories here. And this felt like the real thing. And there are things I haven’t told you about myself yet. And there are good parts of me you have barely gotten to know. And we had so much more to give each other.
This isn’t easy.
I promise I could do better if I had another chance. And how am I supposed to say goodbye? Should I kneel and kiss the ground? Should I turn away and never look back? And do you know that I love you? And do you know that I gave my best to you? And do you know that I will miss you? And do you know that this hurts? And please don’t do this. And why? And why? And why? And why now? And maybe we can start over. And maybe we can try again. Because what if we don’t find this again? And what if this isn’t right? And what if this isn’t best? And what if this isn’t the way things need to be?
It is. It is.
But even though it hurts, I’m hopeful.
Because I know that something good is coming.
Something I’ve been longing for and missing. Something I’ve been feeling the lack of like a wound for the past eight years.
I know we will make a home in Minnesota.
It will be different. And it will be unfamiliar for a bit. And it will take some getting used to, and it will take some patience, and it will take mourning and grieving and anger and regret and healing.
But it will be a true home. I know this.
Because somewhere back in Minnesota, there is a lake where the loons sing, where canoes paddle over still waters, where morning touches you softly and you finally know peace.
And there’s that thick, humid air that when you breathe it in, you feel held, and you feel yourself sprouting roots, and you understand what it means to be whole.
And there are those people. Those people that are closer than ghosts. That outlove the darkness. That sit by fires on frozen nights and laugh, and grow, and understand. There are those people I love and miss so dearly. And it is those people we are coming home to.
But for now, we are here. And this is our home.
But soon, it won’t be.
And for that, we will grieve. We will mourn and rage and bargain and pretend it isn’t real as best we know how. And some day we will accept it. And we will be ok with it.
But I don’t really know how.
I don’t know how to move on.
I don’t know how to let go.
I don’t know how to say goodbye.
Most likely, it will happen in secret.
In a place only Kalyn and I know.
At a time that is our own.
In this gorgeous, marvelous, incredible place we have made home.