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Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

They say that life is nothing more than a series of moments tethered together. If you’re lucky, then you’ll have more good ones than bad. And that, in the final analysis, is what defines a successful journey on the road from womb to tomb.

We here in Aspen have a home court advantage when it comes to classic moments, and they can happen at any time. I was thinking about this on Sunday afternoon during the last hour of the Grand Tasting outside the tents at the Food and Wine festival. Yes, I had a significant buzz on due to the Riesling, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel that I had been sampling and not spitting, but nonetheless the beauty of the day was astounding. The mountain was green like an Irish hillside, the sky was a color that can only be described as Aspen Blue, the clouds were a bold and vibrant white with a threatening darkness on the underside and everybody had a grin on beneath their sunglasses.

As I stopped to take it all in, I thought this, year in and year out, is my favorite hour in Aspen. That afternoon up Independence Pass, just below the Grottos, for just a few seconds, the sun kicked out under a band of dark, forbidding clouds and cast a stream of light through an Aspen grove. The light illuminated the rocks that lined the river below, causing them to shine like nuggets of gold and silver.

Though far briefer than the final hour of the Tasting, it was a stunning moment, virtually equal in its intensity. And yet it was just another moment in the Roaring Fork Valley. That’s what I mean about a home court advantage.

Look at your life – or rather, just look at a single day of your life here. How many times each day are you struck by just how fortunate you are to live here? It can happen on a bike ride through a mountain meadow when you are surrounded by the nearly psychedelic fields of wildflowers. It can happen on the Fork or the Pan, when you feel the cool waters through the membrane of your waders as you wipe the sweat from your brow that has been super heated by the sun. You might be outside the music tent waiting for a world-class musician to play just for you when the wind blows through the Aspen trees and makes a sound that is more beautiful than any music you have ever heard. Then there are the powder mornings, the late night sessions with friends in the bar at Jimmy’s, the serendipitous meetings at the post office with someone you haven’t seen for a long time, the taste of the first Paonia peaches of the year.

The list goes on and on, and each person’s special moments are meaningful mostly to them. But all of us who live here have them in abundance. Embrace them. Enjoy them. Collect them. For this bounty of good moments can carry you through your life’s journey.


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