Beware the drift

Perhaps the single most important thing that drew our family to Aspen was the friendly, courteous and inviting community. On our visits before we bought our home, we always met new friends and struck up engaging conversations and became friendly with some of Aspen’s finest like John at Ace Hardware, Dave at Clark’s Market and visiting with favorite bartenders like Gary at the J Bar.

Summer 2020 has us mostly confined at home. We’ve enjoyed Zoom calls and Zoom happy hours with family and friends and spent a lot of time camping under the starlit skies. I’ve noticed something different on my morning runs around town. Always greeting others on my runs I’ve followed the same lifelong pattern saying “good morning” or “hello” as I pass other pedestrians, certain to honor safe social distancing and pulling my mask up.

This summer, neighbors are often unresponsive, cold or dismissive. I’ve noticed neighbors in our town home complex walking their pets who avoid eye contact and mumble in a low groan as others walk by.

Our Pastor Steve at Crossroads Church recently shared a great message and warned our congregation to beware of the “drift.” He was referencing believers drifting from their faith during times of isolation, becoming more self-inward. We humans are made for community and are social creatures. This idea of drifting applies to all of us, regardless of your belief, thoughts on faith or disinterest in it.

Aspen’s crown jewel is the kindred spirit of our community, the friendly disposition we express towards others and how we are all smiling from the joy and privilege of sharing this beautiful, vivacious and lively community in the heart of some of nature’s greatest gifts. Let’s not drift away from our neighbors and remember that the eyes can smile too. Kindness matters! The next time you pass a stranger, smile and say hi, even through your mask.

This is, after all, the Aspen Way!

David Novelli