Standing at the kitchen window, I’m sipping coffee and looking out over the marsh lining the North River. It’s Christmas Eve and after a whirlwind travel day back East I can now breathe a sigh of relief that I’m home. Even with a low morning fog drastically reducing visibility the view is still pretty amazing. If there is one thing Colorado doesn’t have, it’s an ocean; and despite growing up on the water, I’m surprised by how quickly I’ve forgotten how beautiful it is.
Suddenly, from behind my dad walks up and taps me on the shoulder, “hey, check this out!” He points to a hanging birdfeeder suspended off the deck before scurrying off to the other room. Despite being designed with an exterior cage to keep squirrels and other vermin out, this birdfeeder has failed to perform its given function as sitting inside was a rather small baby squirrel. Space was limited but given the excess of food I highly doubt it cared. Happy as a clam it sat there getting fat in preparation for the upcoming (or already present) winter…that is, until my dad emerges with a large tree branch from above. With a figure similar to that of a golfer driving off the tee, he smashes the branch against the side of the cage sending the squirrel flying several feet in the opposite direction. Landing with a thud, the creature immediately darts towards the woods in a manner that would make you think it intended to hit the ground running. Shortly after my mind flashes to that scene in “Bambi”—you know, the one showing the mother drinking peacefully the river stream only to have the pastoral scene abruptly interrupted a few moments later by hunters shooting her. Obviously, this squirrel isn’t dead but one can’t help but think it’s definitely a bummer of a way to start the day.
My dad is still laughing as he returns to the house—so much so that he can barely form a sentence. In this same state of oxygen debt he leaves the kitchen for his downstairs basement office and it’s only after he is no longer audible that I turn back to looking out the window. In spite of the fact this previous affair took at most forty-five seconds, the tranquil mood of the morning has somehow disappeared. Surely, somewhere in this story is a metaphor for my pre-college youth but I have neither the desire (or comedic vocabulary) to come up with it now. Either way, it’s a firm reminder that I’m home—and that’s something I’m pretty excited about.
Flash forward a week or so and I’m all packed up and ready to head back to Colorado. It’s amazing how quickly my time here has passed—sadly, this always seems to be the case. For me, coming home is a lot about “stopping to smell the roses” so-to-speak. One of my biggest faults (and there are many) is that I tend to fixate so much on my day-to-day routines that I lose sight of the things around me (just ask me friends and they can validate this). When home, things just tend to go slow—mainly because it’s during the holidays and there really aren’t many commitments. In short, it’s easier to relax. I sleep a lot. I watch TV. I hang out. It’s fairly easy. Still, my personality will only allow me so much downtime before I get restless. To compensate for an abundance of energy by weeks end I start doing things like climbing the stairs two steps at a time or cleaning the kitchen. It’s weird, I know, but I really can’t help it.
Needless to say, I’m looking forward to getting back to Boulder and resuming my normal schedule. With the racing season quickly approaching each training day becomes that little bit more important and I’ll be happy to get back to work. Still, despite the long outlook, I'm really satisfied with how the last week has gone. Sure, riding wasn't my greatest focus these last ten days but I'm continuing to remind myself how that's not really something worth getting worked up about. I mean, it's not like someone beat me over the head with a baseball bat while I was eating breakfast. THAT would have sucked.
Bon voyage and happy 2015!