Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Summer Day at the Creek
One thing I don't like about Denver is the lack of water. I do realize that Denver is in the high plains desert, but I couldn't help thinking that every big city has large areas of water and the Platte River just doesn't cut it. I grew up on the Columbia River in Washington and moved to Seattle for university where we were nearly surrounded by water. We took a trip to the beach almost every summer growing up. I lived in Seoul where summer days included frequent picnics at the Han River and trips to the coast. I miss living in a rain forest. I miss the ocean.
I had a trip to the creek planned before the fire, thinking that we would mostly be done moving and want to celebrate by spending a nice day outdoors with friends. Little did I know that we would be unable to enter our apartment until the day before we moved. Our original plan was to pack up and clean as much as we could the weekend before we moved. That way we would at least have half of the packing done ahead of time. Because of asbestos, things didn't work out that way.
After the fire I was understandably overwhelmed with everything. I took two days off of work and worried about catching up when I went back. I didn't get the answers that I needed from the real estate management company who was telling us to just rip the seal off the doors that said, "Caution! May cause cancer!" We went from motel to Airbnb to Brian's cousin's house. I had a panic attack on my last day of work before the move after the asbestos board told me that nobody should have gone into the apartments or removed items in the first place.
In the end, our apartment was cleared in time for moving. It was a messy, frustrating move, but we did it. There were times when I was walking "home" from work when I hated Denver and America and didn't want to be here. I blamed these places. And it's easy to hate a place when things are not going your way. When you are frustrated and feel like nothing will ever get easier, it's very easy to take it out on where you are rather than just accepting that sometimes unfortunate things happen. I know that I have done this in Korea in the past, and now here I am wishing that I were there, because a foreign country has somehow become my comfort place over the 7 years that I lived there.
Looking back at living in Korea and all the times that I was unhappy with life there, I know that I can't make the same mistake in the US. Dwelling on all that was wrong took a lot of time away from making things better and enjoying the good. No matter where you are, you can always find something to be unhappy with. This is why I sought out the water that I was missing and will continue to explore where I am. I wanted a swimming hole like those of my childhood and a friend recommended Clear Creek. It was not everything that I had hoped it would be, but it was close enough. I swam in a creek surrounded by trees and friends. And there's much more of Clear Creek to explore for the rest of the summer. Although I'm used to natural lakes, I'll also be checking out the reservoirs in and around Denver.
We probably shouldn't have gone swimming when we still had so much packing and moving to do, but it was worth it to me. I needed to be outdoors and I needed to remember that there is still so much of Colorado that I have no idea about. I don't think that I will stay in this place forever, but I do want to make the most of my time while I'm here.