Monday, September 3, 2012

Post Travel

Okay, I hear ya.  It went well.  REALLY well.  So much so that I'm still digesting it and trying to find a way to kindof spell it all out.  A picture, though, is truly worth a thousand words, so let's take a little tour around the ol' hometown and see what we find, eh?

I give you a highlights tour of my own little secrets from Idaho Springs:

Nature is, above all, change.

This familiar little slope is pretty much exactly the view from my bedroom window.  The trees are bigger now, and the slope (due to recent upticks in rainfall for the last week) is much greener than I remember, but it's still the same slope of yore.  I know every curve of that slope by heart.  I've watched animals and people cavort across it and seen snow cover it and watch heavy storms saturate it.  It has always been there for me.  It always will be. 

I've never seen with my own eyeballs what's on the other side of that ridge.  I'm not sure I care to.

 Another perfect hillside that anyone from within the watershed will not only recognize but many of whom will have personal stories about scrambling up there to paint their graduation year on the rock face.  Some of the paint remains, if you look closely.  Many a terrific saga was born of this hillside.  It has always been there.  It always will be.

 The Anglican/Catholic Church of Idaho Springs (St Joseph I believe).  Man, what an iconic image this is for me. The red brick building you see on the left there is the elementary school where I spent my entire pre-teen educational career.  Between the two cheese-shaped buildings was a deathtrap of a playground, the old kind with the monkeybars and the hard rubber mats below them.  We all still got our shares of lead splinters and concussions on that war-zone, and we got our itsy bitsy fingers pinched in the chains that held the swings and we choked on the pea-gravel and picked the sharp sand out of our ears and eyes.  The concrete field to the east of the playground and the schoolbuildings was open for games of chase, soccer, kickball, and "olderkids being cool".  When the new playground was built, we all chipped in: parents, kids, businesspeople...  it was awesome.  The lion's share of the empty concrete field was left open. 

We all grew up with this church hovering over us as we played in that concrete area that was blazing hot in the summers and covered in hip-smashingly slick ice in the winter.  It was such an annoyingly perfect building: Italian/Spanish architecture just didn't fit in our hokey pokey little mining town nestled so deeply in the hills of Colorado.  But there it was.  Every year brought new rumors about it: it was haunted, it held living corpses, it was where witches slept at night, (it didn't help that the priest insisted on walking around in his full Priest Attire during the day... we just did NOT understand that...)  and at the end of the day, it just largely scared the hell out of us. 

Well done, Anglicans, well done.  It still scares me, but in a nostalgic way.  I love this building for reasons I cannot explain.  My silly heathen heart holds a very special place for this building.  Perhaps it's the reminder of when the world was simpler for me (which it totally wasn't) or perhaps it is something more complicated...  the nostalgia of my first sensations that the world was far more complicated than I had previously given it credit for.
 This is cool too.  It's an arrastra - or in today's terms:  an ancient ore crusher thingamaboo.  No really, check my notes on this one!  It's seriously cool.  You can see it has been restored oodles of times, but the science behind it is still clear:  Ore goes in, rock smasher goes 'round, pulverized ore comes out.  Bada-boom, bada-bing.  Donkey powered, yo.  Totally approved for Y2K.

This is my old friend, Charlie Taylor.
He invented my town.  (that's how I remember the story)
We love him for it.

Home.  This is what it looks like, y'all.  While it's true that you can't go back again.  It's also true that when you do, there will always be bits and pieces of the place you knew.  They'll be waiting there for you to see them and love them like you used to.  They just want to be looked at.  They want to be remembered.  They don't want anything more, and there is nothing more to give them.  Time moves on and nature moves forward and things change and everything moves on without us.  That's okay. That's the way it should be.

Home.  This really is what it looks like. 
It's what it used to look like and what it's going to look like for a long long time. 

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