The Leaves are Changing in Denver

I stepped outside of my house this morning and was stunned at the pallet before my eyes. My car was covered in leaves of so many colors, I was speechless. As I got into my car I felt the brisk air hit my face and I knew I wasn’t in San Diego anymore. It felt good, it felt exciting, and I was nervous. I drove to work, taking the 6th Avenue bridge connecting the working class neighborhoods of the west side to the ever trendy ones in capitol hill, over to Josephine and headed north of Colfax to York Street. I must have driven by hundreds of tress, all having the same experience, all sharing their lives with us, and throwing pieces of themselves at us. Every tree in the city of Denver is experiencing this transformation, a transition from season to season, a rotation in the cycle of life, engaging in a party with the cosmos and shedding it’s layers for the universe.

The deep reds, oranges and yellows fascinate and intrigue me. I only ever saw these images in movies and on television. I always wanted the huge trash bags with Halloween faces stuffed with leaves in front of my house, yet at 614 B Avenue, we only had a palm tree or two. Yes, the cliché and stereotype of California is true, we had palm trees on our street. So every year I begged my mother to buy some of these trash bags and she would say to me, “what are we going to fill it with mija?” Hehe, I never had an answer and every year that passed was another year that I grew more fascinated with Autumn, never quite experiencing it, but wanting it to hit in me in the face so bad. And so, I never understood the colors for Autumn, the browns and yellows and reds that came with the centerpieces at Thanksgiving or the window decorations that we would see at the Veteran’s thrift store in L Street in Chula Vista. I just never understood.

I heard from a coworker recently that if you drive to Estes Park, Colorado during a specific time of Autumn, you can sit there all day and actually see the leaves falling from their trees, with all of their colors changing, flying through the streets and on to the ground. They have a renown taffy place she said, and she told me that she does this every year, eating taffy and drinking hot cider. I don’t like taffy very much and I can’t say that I have ever truly had home made cider, but the idea of that sounded amazing. My lover from home is coming to visit soon, all this talk and falling in love with the leaves brought out the romantic in me… “huh, i wonder if Alex would like to drive to Estes Park with me and drink cider and watch the leaves?” I thought. Sadly, I was informed that I missed the boat, and the transformative moments to witness in Estes Park had passed.

So there are moments when I feel so lost here in Denver. Moments where I spend the entire day at home, working on my room, making it livable and lovable and then I wonder if I will ever have people in my life here to share my room with, and not just my bed, but all the work I have put into making these walls my home. A new friend came over the other night to talk about polyamory, she is in a relationship that is complicated and it was nice to have tea and cookies with her. I showed her my room and I could feel myself excited about being in their with her, and so I began to tell her about every photo and every piece of art that I had hung up. “This is a birthday card that Thanner made me, we used to play Soul Caliber a lot and this is the character I loved. And this is a poster of the last art show we had back home, Eddie made it, and another birthday card that Sani made me and she sent me this photo album of my friends in San Diego, and here is a postcard my roommate Danielle made for her birthday party.” I think she enjoyed taking the small peek into my life, but mostly that process was for me. Matthew and I talked about this the other night and I realized that I am in such need for dialog and conversation and sharing and cuddling and touching, like I used to have. The Maple House had a way of being comforting in that way, of knowing when I needed to be touched at any moment, and Matthew could crawl into anyone’s bed and cuddle with them, and we woke up to mornings where five roommates and two dogs would greet us good morning in our beds. And here in Denver, I will take moments of that at any moment.

Here in Denver, I don’t have many friends, but the ones I do have are really amazing. And I am excited to get to know them on a deeper level. The I-Ching said I would find liberation here in Denver. And so its moments like this where I begin to not feel lost anymore. I can feel it with the friendships I am developing and my new job working with youth, and the baking and cooking.

I can feel it in every leave that drops from the trees and falls onto my car. I feel it when I drive to work and see the bright yellows and oranges and reds. I feel it when i see them dancing in the streets just before they fall onto the ground, and I feel it when a friend comes over and I can show them a piece of my identity through art, and I can feel it when the cold brisk air makes my lips go numb, and when my dog Max buries his bone underneath those leaves. And I can feel it when I realize I have a new crush, and I feel it when I ride my bike, and I can just feel it coming. It’s a beautiful feeling.

And so I say, Dear Universe: I trust why you have placed me here. And I can’t wait for more magic to happen.


One Response to “The Leaves are Changing in Denver”

  1. voldo misses you dear ‘neti!

    as do the rest of us… mandrake and sani are watching wayne’s world right now, as their cookies are in the oven. i’m reading through your lovely prose, wishing there were enough of us for a good game of beanie… alas we are short by two.

    see you soon o’clock!

    xoxo nn.

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