Sunday, December 11, 2011

Thirty-One Days of Photos: Day 11

Today's photo is of one of my favorite ornaments on my tree. I love it not so much for what it is, but what it reminds me of when I look at it.

This ornament was given to me by my "first Denver friend," or at least that's what I call her. Her name is Margaret. She was the first person that reached out to me before I even moved to Colorado in 2009. And she was one of the few people who stuck beside me after everything sort of crashed and burned in my life.

You could say she took me under her wing that year. She invited me to church, had me over, and her family invited me to spend Thanksgiving with them that year so I wouldn't be alone. They celebrated the holiday up in Estes Park, and it was my first time going up there. The elk love that area and roam freely around Rocky Mountain National Park which is nearby.

Margaret bought me this ornament as a reminder of that Thanksgiving, but it also reminds me of another time we went up to Estes Park. She and her husband Jon took me on my last camping trip in October of last year. It was unseasonably warm up in the mountains, so we took advantage of it and met up with a group of their friends in Rocky Mountain National Park.

The elk were in mating season mode and bugling all night long. I remember the sound echoing across the park, and I remember the stars, so many of them. I was trying to take timed shots, but I only captured a fraction of what you could see. I remember that trip every time I look at this blog; my header picture was taken the next morning. You can see a hint of smoke from the breakfast campfire, the sun just beginning to peek over the mountain tops.

And I remember that trip when I look at my ornament. I remember feeling unlovable, but friends like Margaret reminded me that there was more to my life than my mistakes. I remember feeling alone, but not when Margaret and I would go out for a girls' night and dance away our worries. I remember the snowy night I lost my job, and Margaret drove 30 minutes just so I wouldn't be alone.

Sure, when I look at the ornament I think of a quaint little mountain town. That's what it's all about at face value. But there is so much more behind it. There is the reminder of a true friend, what one looks like, and what I hope to be.

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