I've been thinking about the nature of big. Walking back from City Market, a best-friend induced smile on my face and in my mind, looking at the fields and red bluffs and the sky. Big. What is big? Fields that stretch to forever if you look at them from the right place, a red cliff high enough to see the whole of Carbondale from, the sky that here gives new meaning to endless. Big. I think it was the first time I'd ever conceptualized Colorado. Ever thought so viscerally about big. The kind of thoughts that involve more than just my brain, that resonate through my body, that make me a part of things. That remind me of my place in the schema of bigness. When I look back, it'll be that scene that comes to my mind. The fields dry, brittle, beautiful, seeming almost to know that they will grow again. The sky, different colors, red bluffs, the greener snow-covered hills downvalley, the bluer but equally snowy ones upvalley.
I realized as I was walking that there's a whole new section in my vocabulary for words about the land. Words like mesa and redstone and 14er, that have become a part of me. Language is so important to who we are, and I have a theory that a place has become a part of you, and that you have become a part of a place, when the language of it becomes familiar. Not so much the way the people speak, though that is also important, but the words about the place. When I know the difference between a mesa and a bluff, between high desert and low desert, when I understand irrigation ditches and water rights, when these are active parts of my being instead of abstract concepts, I'm a part of the land. I'm at home here.
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