On the Trail: Remembering Indian summer
Is it just me, or does autumn in Aspen carry with it memories as crisp and clear as an Indian summer day?This dawned on me while meandering through the Hunter Creek Valley recently. I was all alone in the splendor of the season, and yet I couldn’t stop the flashbacks from flooding my mind.Most memories were as blindingly bright and inexplicably warm as the afternoons can be in late September – the year I moved to town, only to fall in love with all that Aspen is; the year I got married, on a picture-perfect day with gold leaves and snow-capped peaks as a backdrop; the year my first child was born, strolling around town with a swollen belly just waiting for my whole world to change. But like the weather in the high country, my recollections of autumn in Aspen shifted almost as quickly as they blew in.And this being life, some memories were as cold and frosty as an early October morning – the year my now-husband was crushed by a pickup truck while riding his bike, leaving him to recover for months; the year I was called back home to help care for my sick father, wondering if he’d make it until Christmas; and just this year, putting my elderly cat, whom I had owned more than half my life and had known longer than just about anyone I know today, to sleep.But still, I cherish this time of year. It is for me, and I suspect many other locals, a time to breathe in deeply – both literally and figuratively – and live in the moment while remembering the ones gone by.
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