I woke up on the corner of 9th and Monroe streets in Congress Park today. Not on the actual street corner, of course, but in the guest bedroom of a classic 1920s Denver bungalow of an old friend. A bluebird sky welcomed my first morning today in the city that Helen and I called home at the beginning of our married life some twenty plus years ago.
Sipping coffee at the jewel-box space of Little Owl Coffee downtown I’m surrounded by sights that are uncommon for a resident of the South: low banks of snow pushed up on curbs, a range of dove-white mountain caps in the western distance and people bustling past the café window bundled in knit hats and fuzzy scarves exhaling plumes of mini clouds. And yet the scene is also as familiar as a deep breath.
I’m here to connect with old friends and new as I explore novel pathways for the future. A giddy feeling of adventure bubbles up in me in response to the vibrant city full of promise and energy. Nameless faces and uncharted spaces surround me.
But behind the delight there comes the shadow of uncertainty bearing a twinge of fear. How often does a positive feeling elicit its shadow twin? In moments of pleasure our chattering mind thinks “This can’t last. Something will unravel.”
I think this is the work of our lizard brain trying to protect us. The ancient caveman wandering alone in an unfamiliar part of the forest was likely dazzled by a fresh water spring and at the next moment frozen at the sound of a twig snapping behind him. Is the den of the saber-toothed tiger close by? Do I dare stay?
But the feeling is only an ingrained thought pattern from a time before. Listen to its message and recognize the validity of its roots. Breathe deeply. The crisp winter air will open a new understanding the emotions the fear elicits.
Then turn then to the wisdom of the little owl. Or the bluebird sky. Or the Rockies. They have a truer tale to tell about the new horizons that await.
I have a variety of interests and enjoy sharing my reflections on them here.