Living Life Years Young and Newer Every Day!

As I write this, I’m sitting under a canopy of bright, vibrant green leaves and surrounded by colors come alive from bushes full of flowers, trees towering high and strong, and creative artistic pools of water dotted with water lilies and flowers. My visual senses are indulged by taking in every color of flower and shape of plant. This nature’s office I am enjoying my work in today is the Denver Botanic Gardens.

Visiting the gardens never ceases to delight and amaze me. Every time there is something new that I see and the rapid flowering growth of every planted and living thing reveals the constancy of change with ever new encounter. As much as I am drawn in by the foliage, I am also enjoying the people. This was the case today, when I noticed an intimate group of four people. As much as I love and am touched by the sight of young children chasing butterflies and scaring squirrels throughout the grounds, my attention was caught by how this particular group stood out…

Entering the wood-deck patio seating in the center of the park, these four chose a table and proceeded to decorate it with a spread that made me think, “now, this is life!“. A white table-cloth came first, proceeded by all the makings of a class-act picnic. I especially approved when I could not help but notice that they brought a bottle of red wine, white wine, and even a bottle of champagne. Upon closer observation when I went to introduce myself, the menu revealed white and milk chocolate covered strawberries, small home-made macaroons, lush chunks of cantaloupe, and robust green grapes.

In case you were wondering, I was not spying out of famished envy. With my love of people leading the way, I went over just now and introduced myself to this lovely group. They are friends in Denver and expressed to me that although they have had memberships to the Denver Botanic Gardens for some time, this was their first time gathering for their friendship picnic. They were so kind to allow me to interrupt their conversations and I was honored to get to meet Patty, Scotty, Gary, and Miriam. I am glad that they were of the opinion that it is never too late to enjoy activities with precious friends.

From left to right: Patty, Scotty, Gary, and Miriam

From left to right: Patty, Scotty, Gary, and Miriam

Seeing people enjoy each other by creating moments like this, truly inspires me and makes me smile all the way down to my heart. In a setting already as beautiful as these gardens, it only enhances the experience of how full and radiant life is. Full of energy, color and beauty; creativity, people and love. And of course food deliciously decadent to the eyes and stomach and nature’s nectar, wine, to bring a pleasant rosy blush to the heart and soul.

Happy summer-time Denver and the world! May we enjoy each other and our precious moments, and in that learn that every moment is precious.

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Angels and Chocolate

I was visited by an angel this week! That’s right…and the angel brought me chocolate. Well, this angel turned out to give me much more than chocolate. But we enjoyed rich milk chocolate together nonetheless. This is how the story goes. Continue reading

The Winter Wonderland of Steamboat Lake

2013-02-10 17.39.19Right now I am cozy in a chair by a warm fireplace while snow is falling outside, glistening from the dim light of dusk. This relaxed comforting state reminds me of my recent weekend visiting Steamboat Lake. My friend Jenni is from Steamboat Springs and invited my boyfriend and me to join her on a weekend visit to her parent’s cabin. So Michael and I left the suburban and city-sprawl of Denver by lunch time on a Friday and began the beautiful drive along I-70. This highway has become so familiar to me thanks to countless visits to the southwest corner of Colorado and for fun-filled days of skiing at the winter resorts that this area is popular for. We passed the ski area of Loveland and the turn-offs for Arapahoe Basin and Breckenridge, which is where we exited I-70 and headed west on US-40. Although I had driven this route so many times before, I thrilled in the majestic Colorado scenery of towering mountains and cascading rivers. Even though it was early February, there wasn’t much snow on the ground until we came out on the other side of the Eisenhower Tunnel just before descending into the gorgeous valley that holds Silverthorne and Lake Dillon.

About one hour before reaching the town of Steamboat Springs, Continue reading

It’s not about the Answers

I see them suffering, I hear their woes,

Listening to their hurtful souls.

They’re venting to me, being vulnerable,

Longing to be heard, understood.

I hear and relate, I can understand,

My heart feels for my friend.

To be set free, not hurt but overcome,

Is what we both want for them.

And I hurry to say, I feel it rise up in me,

I know the answers for you.

Yet when I speak , they still do not see,

They tell their story again, more.

But I have the answers for you, I think,

Let me try to tell it differently.

Then it dawns on me, I have to let go,

I’ve been in their shoes before.

Many times hurting, crying for answers,

Yet actually needing more.

A friend to be there, caring, listening,

Some words can be okay too.

There can be answers, yours may be mine,

I’m sure some see them when I don’t.

Yet we all need another journeying with us,

As we walk through what we feel.

Maybe it’s not about the answers,

It’s the actual search for them,

And who stays beside us as we seek.

 

Missing You

 

I feel it now, it won’t go away

A distracting feeling interrupting my thoughts

Memories of fun times, places that we’ve been

Seasonal traditions we shared at this time of year…

Yet, I am not there, I am far away

This evokes a heaviness in me

Not quite sad, just melancholy

Those times are gone, they were fully lived in

Now other times are here somewhere new

Other people, different places, unique traditions…

I picture you, your life and how I used to be a part of it

I am still there in some ways, while in more ways gone

And I see it is the other way around as well…

I miss you…

I miss you, beautiful home of Denver, the seasons now changing into fall

I miss you, dear friends, you know who you are…

How interesting this dichotomy, perplexing these intertwining feelings

I am happier than ever where I am, far away, yet…

I miss you!

 

Reflections on Life Before 30…Thank You!

Going back to the 1st birthday...

In about three weeks I turn 30 years old. Talk about a time to reflect. Some people dread getting older, however I’m looking forward to starting a new decade of my life. I hear that 30’s can be your best years and that the way you start a decade can set the pace for the next 10 years of your life. Hmmm…maybe this explains why I’m living the next 6 months traveling throughout Britain, Europe, Israel, and who knows where else. For more details on that adventure, check out my travel blog www.EthnosTravel.wordpress.com.

What kicked off these reflections was a gift for my upcoming 30th birthday that my loving Aunt Karen from Pennsylvania sent me. In a birthday card she enclosed an entire stack of old photos. They were of my childhood and captured me at all different ages: infant to toddler, kid to teenager…it’s very touching to look at them to say the least. To see the album click here. There was something sentimental about the feel of old photos in my hands. It made me realize how much things have changed, not just with technology, but in me as well.

Loved that poodle sweater!

And so began my reflections back on my life thus far…almost thirty years of life and I was struck with how much the people in my life have molded me and influenced who I am. More than anything though, it made me grateful. I’ve been fortunate to experience a family that is loving and gave me an amazing childhood. Full of love and affirmation, my parents invested all of themselves into me. They spent time with me, reading and playing music, camping and hiking, even climbing trees. My life has been blessed with amazing people through my family and through friends.

Life has also had its surprises and hurts. Not everything is rose-colored glass…there has been heartache and loss, tragedy and grief…however, more than anything, there has been love. There is love. And for that, I am forever thankful…

First I want to thank the friends I have had in my life…I thought about naming them here, but would hate to limit myself that way and to leave anyone out. You each know who you are. From elementary school friends that I shared the same birthday with to high school friends and middle school girls I mentored…some of you are now married and with kids of your own. Some are graduating from college and reminding me of how young I was when I would babysit you…crazy that adults entrusted you to me.  And my trusty, fun college girlfriends…people would swear that we were cousins if not sisters, we looked so much alike and were always together so much. It’s neat to see where all of us are now. To more recent and current friends, you’re an amazing part of my Colorado home and life. From skiing to backpacking, roommates and building-mates, downtown nights out to weddings and babies…you’ve been there for me through celebrating joyous events and grieving through tragedies. Thank you does not even begin to describe my appreciation to all of you…but you have my friendship for the rest of our lives to continue to show you my gratefulness.

And I have to thank my first love. You rocked my world and the after-shock still resonates…and in the best of ways. Sure, things did not turn out the way we hoped, but I believe part of turning 30 for me is coming to a new place where I am glad for the past and would not change what we had or want it gone for the life of me. You’re a very special person and got to me like no other, even to this day. God help the person who does one day get to me even more 🙂 But for now, you hold the record. Thank you for you. There’s simply no other words that can express what I feel about you and will always appreciate about having been in love with you. You have taught me the most about myself.

Last, but certainly not least…

With Mommy and Daddy...always loved saying it with "y".

I want to thank my mom and dad for all their love that they continue to give – you each loved me so much that I have never doubted that you would always love me through anything and forever. My appreciation and love goes out to my grandparents, those who are still with us and those who have already gone ahead…your adoration of me makes me think of the coziest blanket. To my aunts, uncles, and cousins – the memories I have created with you remain with me still and I look forward to many more memories to come. As our family has grown with the addition of my step-mother and step-siblings, our family love has grown as well…thank you for your openness and growing together. You’re love and faith in me touches me still. And to my brothers: Marky and Brendan…don’t forget that it was me who named you both and you are such close friends and the coolest boys I know…your friendship with me is such a joy! I always laugh so much with both of you and I see each of you as one of the coolest parts of me and my life. My family is so wonderful to me! Each of you have showered so much love on me, instilling in me the strongest sense of making the most of every moment by being kind, affirming, and loving to others. Life is short, so why be mean or unkind…you’re each extraordinary people in how you love and live.

The coolest brothers in the world!

I’ve learned so much from all of you. The most important things I’ve learned have been from my mistakes. Thanks for loving me, mistakes and all.

Where would I be without each of you? Who would I be? I would be a completely different Amalia, that’s for sure. I’m in love with the Amalia that I am…all of me and all of who makes me who I am. With that truth about my past and present known and loved, I’m excited to venture into my 30’s. And guess what…you’re each coming with me.

With continued love ~