The gray of Seattle gave way to the brown of Denver, where a fierce wind carrying sleet chilled me as I waited at the airport for a bus to take me north to Longmont, where my Mom moved two years ago with my sister and brother-in-law.
Powdery snow, the first of the season on the lowlands, fell Friday night and is still on the ground this morning, though some of it disappeared in the sun of yesterday afternoon. Wearing a hat and coat borrowed from my sister, I was able to take a nice walk, even though the temp was just 32 degrees.
I lived in this area for three years while I attended college, working in Longmont as a cook at the Et Yet? Inn, and hadn’t been back for 27 years.
Needless to say, I didn’t recognize the place, which has sprawled eastward at a furious pace, gobbling up the farms, although some remain, such as the one right next door to my Mom’s place. It’s part of an open space belt, which the Boulder-Longmont area is famous for, so it’ll be allowed to survive, in part because it contains a lake that yesterday attracted a large flock of Canada geese and in the summer hosts pelicans.
I struck up a conversation with a woman on the bus about my lengthy time away from the region and its unfamiliarity to me now, and she remarked that if she were a Native American she’d be very upset about the urban encroachment into the prairie, where burial mounds and other sacred sites had been disrupted.
So I guess that ”cornpone” — as one commenter described it yesterday —about having some sensitivity to those who came before us does have a few followers even in the US of A.
I’ve been caring for my Mom since I arrived, and it’s nice to have the opportunity to do something for her, considering all she’s done for me. As I helped her dress, I thought of all the time she’d spent dressing her eight children, and as I made her meals, I recalled all the breakfasts, lunches and dinners she’d prepared for us.
“There comes a time when children have to become parents to their parents,” she said, which got me thinking about that thing called life, and its inevitable changes, and many cycles, and what it all really means.