A stroll through Garden of the Gods is always a pleasant experience. I used to do it a lot while living just a few blocks away at the east end of Bear Creek Park. One entry point is particularly nice on a warm summer morning, providing a short stretch of shade as the morning sun begins baking the land.
Inside the small grove, little hint of amazing sights ahead is evident. A soft breeze and birds singing entices to stop and stay a while there, listening and breathing in its aromas very softly.
But there's more to be seen before the sun gets too high in the sky and begins baking my brains.
It's always a relief to find myself alone in this place.
It's a place where solitude allows healing not possible anywhere else in the city surrounding it.
A cottonwood grove charmed by a mourning dove quietly calling settles nerves thoroughly jangled by the bustling city.
When I was living and working in this city, I frequently came here to have lunch and a short walk before going back to the office.
It always induced a level of relaxation which would not fade the rest of the day.
I first came to Colorado Springs in the 1960s as a child and loved the experience. I road horseback through this place then, laughing at an old woman who rushed out of her house on a street corner spitting and cursing at us as she swept up manure dropped by the mule my father was riding just in front of me into an oversized dustpan.
For decades I hoped to return and enter its city limits as a new resident with a good job I could work at for a long while. When that finally came about it was a dream come true and I loved the time I spent there at the turn of the century. My exit after the dot com company I was working for folded and laid everyone off was not exactly a happy one but it turned out for the best. I had hoped to finish out my career there before retiring here in wilderness where I no longer had to deal with city life on a daily basis. It was the only city in the world I actually wanted to be in during the period of my professional life. If I had stayed I probably wouldn't have ever been motivated to start my little company and enjoy that decade of wild self-employment experiences at all.
Colorado Springs isn't a town I like much anymore, though. Too big. Too crowded. Too loud. When I lived there I was hit by an idiot yakking on his mobile phone as he ran a red light. That almost happened again when I was there earlier this month as a woman yakking on her mobile phone blasted through a red light without a care in the world. I was turning left onto Colorado Avenue from South Limit Street. Luckily, the driver also making that turn just to my right saw her coming and began honking his car horn like a mad man, making me look right so I would see her coming.
I was lucky to survive both incidents and lucky to exit that city alive at all. Now it's like every other city I've ever lived in. Too toxic to tolerate. I doubt I'll ever go back there again.
My thanks to whoever you are, sir, for honking madly to help me survive my most recent visit and make my final exit alive.