2006: A year well-lived | AspenTimes.com

2006: A year well-lived

Joel Stonington

Aspen, CO ColoradoI was put on the spot Sunday night. New Year’s was approaching when someone asked what the highlights of 2006 were. The bonfire up on West Buttermilk went quiet and 20 people looked over.I sat stunned for a moment, mumbling. Then the conversation bubbled up again and changed course. It was an impossible question. Moments passed through my mind: a game of capture the flag, a run on the bowl, a hike with my parents, a trip to Telluride Bluegrass with buddies – but the images were going too quickly and were far too numerous to narrow down, even to 30 or 40. Later, in a moment of silence away from the fire, I looked out on a moonlit Pyramid Peak and thought about the years that haven’t been this good, the years that had very little good at all. Perhaps it’s the turnaround that makes me unabashed in the happiness that has come by living in this incredibly special place. Or maybe the moonlight was magical and the people too good to be true. After the fire died down some of us started to think about getting up for work in the morning. Six of us skied over to sugar bowl and got the first powder turns of the season, head lamps off, cruising through the trees, dodging twigs and making quick decisions. The yells and laughter filtered down as each of us made our way through the open meadows. All thoughts of best moments were gone, it was just a moonlit run.At the car, as the six of us attempted to pack into my Corolla with all of our gear, I paused to consider that though 2006 was the best year I’ve lived, 2007 might have something to say about that.