It’s November 24th and Denver has still not seen any snowfall, which is a record for the latest date to receive any accumulation. So what do we do under these conditions? We fret about climate change, worry about how it will impact future generations, feel smug about the solar panels on our roof, the hybrid cars we drive, the bicycles we commute to work on, and play in the seventy-degree weather as though Denver were Miami or San Diego.
Yesterday I took a bike ride with five friends from Confluence Park down to the Chatfield Dam and back, stopping for lunch at Hudson Gardens. On the way back through a complicated detour on the trail one of the riders told his wife of about a year (a second marriage for both retired individuals) to lead the way, and when she took off he teased her to slow down because she was leaving the rest of us behind. I asked him what he was thinking, hooking up with such a strong rider, and he replied that they had met on a bike ride. This, of course, started me talking about Leslie, and all the riding we had done together, and her competitive spirit on the bike. I had to stop myself.
I am reminded by others that I mention Leslie often. Do they mean I have become tedious when they tell me this? I don’t know. It will be seven years since her death the end of March. I often find myself returning to my neighborhood thinking about what a nice place it is to live, and remembering the process Leslie and I went through before settling on this part of Denver. I am always struck by how much more I would be enjoying my home and my neighborhood if she were with me, but even more I can’t help thinking of all the joys of living she has been denied. Even with the anxiety of climate change, the political divide and lack of civility our country is experiencing, and the uncertainty we face, every breath is a privilege, every step is a gift, every sight is a treasure that she has been denied. As long as the weather encourages riding outside, I will take her memory riding with me, and if it ever snows again in Denver, I will remember her in the snow.