I left home at seventeen. As I packed up my childhood room, a lump in my throat, I knew I would be back “home” in just four short years; after I finished my schooling. Four years turned into seven turned into eighteen. It’s been eighteen years since I’ve lived in Tennessee or since I’ve been around family and childhood friends. Time flies when you’re inventing yourself.
After college, I moved to Atlanta, met a girl, fell in love, and decided to chase my dreams out west. We landed in Denver, got good jobs, and became increasingly independent: something the west — and moving away — bestows on you.
We explored the Rockies: hiked her mountains, fished her creeks, and hunted her wildlands. I proposed to my (now) wife under a peak that soared fourteen-thousand feet above us as a red tail hawk glided above our heads. A few years later, we got married in that same spot. There is magic in these winds.
But there was always something calling me back south. Any time I’d hear a song about home — or just by a southern artist — I’d get a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. Colorado, in all its magic and glory, is a hard place to live. A lonely place to live. We were thousands of miles from family and friends. While we were able to meet some incredible people here who taught us a lot about self-reliance, health, building fires, and hauling trailers, but there’s a comfort in being surrounded by people who knew you when you were young that can’t be replaced. In times of hardship, you need those people most.
After Covid and learning of aging family members, it became clear that it was time to go home.
I look forward to southern nights, lightning bugs flickering, friends laughing, crickets singing, and being hugged by the humidity.
I’ll remember Colorado fondly as a place that made me — Crestone in particular. Colorado has pushed me, challenged me, pressured me, and healed me. It’s shown me what I’m capable of — which is a lot. Colorado is the springboard that I needed to go home and realize all the good that’s there.
After eighteen years away, I can finally say there’s just something about going home.
Follow along as I embark on that journey!