Rarely does a single hour pass that screams and wailing of sirens cannot be heard somewhere in the distance, or more often on the busy intersection that lies just beyond the gate of my apartment complex. And on days when there are seemingly fewer emergencies, I am able to count on the chopping of helicopters to pace the hours of my day.
Apaches, Chinooks, the occasional Black Hawks are my time keepers as they round out their maneuvers and make their way back to the military base 10 miles or so to the north. Such is my noisy and distracting routine as of late.
A Place To Call Home
A month ago the mountains of Gilpin County, Colorado was the place I have called home for most of my life. A born and raised Colorado native, and damn proud of it. It’s wasn’t until my husband returned home from his third tour of Afghanistan that it was time to pack up and move on, which is so typical and expected of a military lifestyle.
I find myself now, however, four short weeks later, longing for, nearly craving, the open space of landscape where my days where characterized by silence and daydreaming, paced the miles of a hike, and timed by the Sun’s movement west across the mountains in the horizon.
I truly miss such a vast and easily accessible space to think and ponder and question and pray and move and breathe without the confines of an apartment complex gate or the ticking lights of a crosswalk. And though I find myself alone most hours of the day when my husband is at work, I miss the solitude—the ability to disappear and simply be.
Finding Ground In Gratitude
I suppose this is a lesson in never taking for granted the spaces we hold so sacred, the places we turn to be quiet and still, to withdraw and recharge. Never take for granted the places to where we look for inspiration and passion and purpose.
I am certain it is apparent I may ever so slightly be struggling with transition and my new landscape. After living so long in the quiet comfort of my mountains, I can honestly say that this move has been quite the bitch. It is important in times such as this, however, to remember that though life is sometimes a huge bitch, it’s most often worth it.
I mustn’t forget the reason for such sacrifices: my husband. And dare I say love is one of the most valid reasons to step out of a comfort zone. It’s true that you have to move to change, and so it follows that to change is to grow, and well, isn’t that the whole point of this journey?
The Great Ones Adjust
A mentor once told me that the great ones in this world adjust to the circumstances to which they are presented, so I will attempt to follow accordingly. Enough with the wallowing and longing, and make room for all the lessons to be learned in this place.
We all must find our own space, wherever we may be, that makes us feel whole and alive. So now I will put on my iPod, armed with my journal and an open heart, and make my way to a little park down the road. There is a still pond there where in the trees on the north side of the shore, I have seen bald eagles nest and fly.
Andrea Bentley, a Colorado native, is currently living the military lifestyle with her husband in Lacey, Washington. After graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in English and Sociology, she traveled abroad and a chance meeting in Munich led to her marriage to a soldier in the U.S. Army. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at
age 24, her focus has turned to balancing her health, relationship, and the transience of military life. She fills her spare time with the company of books, enjoys running to clear her mind, and loves the hell out of a good happy hour.