Notes from Ute Avenue
It wasn’t that many years ago that the protective mother fox raised her kits down near the park. We’d see her at dusk, sitting on the little hillock, watching us warily as we walked home from town. She’s been gone for awhile now.
Perhaps soon, way too soon, other things may be gone from this little street as well. Hopefully, not the clip-clop of the draft horses returning from another night’s work. But it’s hard to predict such things. Anachronisms, I suppose they are. Nobody really plans it that way. People just do something, create a new thing, and then something else is old and no longer appreciated. And then maybe something really meaningful, something that has been there since before anyone even thought about it, is gone ” like the ringing of sleigh bells up Ute Avenue on a winter’s night.
There must be something that draws me back to this place year after year, surely there is. I just haven’t the awareness to name it. Oh, yeah, my sister lives here, up near the end of Ute Avenue. But then my brother lives in Illinois, and I don’t visit him that much. Deb, I visit pretty often. Not that unusual I suppose, many of us in Aspen don’t really live here, but once here, we keep coming back. I think nobody pays us much mind, we’re just predictable, like the snows on Aspen Mountain or the wildflowers up Buckskin Pass. But then sometimes you do something, change a thing, and then other things change. Unpredictable things nobody really thought about or paid much attention.
To everything, every meaningful thing I know, there’s a beginning, a middle and an end. Trite, no doubt, but the truth can be like that, just that simple. The real challenge may lie in seeing something early, perhaps before it’s even true. To me, the simple truth is that this town, Aspen, is in its middle, and Ute Avenue lies at the heart of this center place.
If the end of Ute Avenue is changed, no matter how well presented or intended the change, then other things may change, too. Perhaps it will be only my sister’s solitude or the harmony of the horses’ sleigh bells. Maybe just these little anachronisms. But then, maybe not. It’s hard to see the end, the truth, from here in the middle.
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The city of Aspen is supposed to break ground on 300-plus housing units in 2024 but if Monday’s meeting with elected officials is any indication, the project could take years before coming online.