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Miss it

October 10, 2011

Regret and nostalgia are a potent combination.

I visited the ranch over this past weekend and those feelings blindsided and sucker punched me til I was breathless with crying and hurt. I didn’t cry when I left the ranch, and I haven’t shed a tear over it since I pulled out of that dirt driveway. But this last weekend left me destroyed. I cried clear from the mountains to Fort Collins.

I felt like I was turning my back on home. The snowcapped mountains, golden aspens, dense quiet, crisp air, and woodstove smoke transported me back to the happy winters I spent there. Bundled in quilts. CMT when we were snowed in. Whiskey warmth. The crystal icicles refracting prisms on the front porch. The smell of white. Of quiet. Of pine. Coveralls and gloves that always smelled like horses. Dinners with my surrogate family. Home. Home home home home home.

This past weekend reminded me of that. And it damn near destroyed me to drive away from those memories. Memories of a time that will only ever exists as memory- I can’t ever access it again. Driving toward Fort Collins felt like driving toward stress, anxiety, insecurity, questions, doubts. I wanted nothing more than to turn the car around and drive back to three years ago. I spent a long time on the road questioning why I ever left. What I thought I was seeking. What I was sacrificing in leaving my mountain home.

Of course, that then spiraled into a vortex of self-pity, doubt, and misery. Questioning my life’s decisions and ambitions. Nostalgic over the times I can never have back, regretful over the things that I can’t change.

I know it’s just a mood and it will pass. By God, being back in those mountains touched a deep and primal thing. Despite the hell I’ve been through there, that ranch is home.

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