Living in the mountains is wonderful. I can sometimes see eagles fly below me in the great bowl that is rimmed by the Divide. The air shimmers sometimes, a drop-dead blue. The trees aren’t the miracle here — those back east are taller and more abundant. Our miracle is the light, itself. Its clarity makes magic of its changing through the day.
What’s the downside? At 8,000 feet of altitude, it’s a young person’s environment. Many of my lifelong friends have had to leave because the low oxygen is damaging to hearts and lungs and makes asthma and emphysema worse. Heavy snow — no worse that any of the snow of the northern states makes life harder here, when Florida, California and Arizona promise that people who move there will forget what a snow shovel looks like. The air is like wine, but I miss my friends who no longer share it.