the columbine grew on the east side of the house. colorado’s state flower is blue columbine. but – here – it grows pink on the farm and is called origami red and white. delicate and beautiful, healthy and thriving, it clearly loves the dirt and air and sun of iowa.
we were sitting in a circle on the southside, trying to avoid the windy wind. it was happy hour, on a day fraught with emotion. we had said our final goodbyes to columbus, d’s dad, bringing him back to his hometown in iowa – a tiny morsel of a town, bustling with family and traditions and giant farm equipment and passed-down farms. the southside – where most of the tractors and machines and accessories-of-which-i-know-no-names were parked. the southside – the direction the deer ambled from, late in the day, waning light their protection. the southside, the old farmhouse blocking most of the gusts, letting the sun warm us.
we had had lunch up at the hillside bar and grill – the place where you could get humongous pork tenderloin sandwiches – where the tenderloin hung off both sides of the bun. just the sheer mention of those used to bring a big smile to columbus’ face. many of the people at lunch chose those in his memory. we didn’t, but we snagged a tiny bite from cousin kate’s plate, an absolutely necessary respect-nod to david’s dad.
and now, here we sat – adirondackchair-bagchair-adirondackchair-bagchair-adirondackchair-bagchair – all in a circle, just sitting and talking and being quiet.
we sipped from wineglasses and bottles of water in the later afternoon circle. we all talked about life-we’d-missed-together, life-now and life-one-of-these-days.
kate looked over at us and asked if we’d ever move from wisconsin, if we’d consider going to the mountains. though we hesitated a moment to clear space in our current-angsting for actual dreaming, we nodded, and i added, “of course we’d love to be in colorado. the high mountains always call us.”
we don’t have any idea what that might look like. we don’t know when that might be.
we just know that we feel like happy-go-lucky columbine when we are breathing the air of the rockies, our feet in the dirt of a deep aspen-lodgepole-pine trail, under a colorado sun.
read DAVID’s thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY
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