With a valley covered in white, it is time to be thankful. Not just for the Thursday holiday that bears the name and marks the start of a dark but festive period or a ski season that will run into next April, but thankful for it all. You are one of the lucky ones.
It is a time to be thankful for more than having the lifts running this weekend. It is a time to be thankful for a community that relishes the outdoors and is tied to its people.
The valleys and slopes are full of people on skinny skis, sleds, and skins finding joy in these mountains. You might have to walk another ridge to leave the increasing backcountry crowds behind but there are still places out there filled with special wonder and solace. The scenery here is meant to be more than viewed…it is there to be played on and shared. While some may have moved here to look at the mountains, many of us moved here to play in the mountains. The energy of those hills and the energy of a ski town is what attracted us here, not just the views. There are plenty of places with good views and a more mellow energy than a ski town but we get the ski town/mountain bonus. I still fill with awe when I look up at some of the views of this valley but it is getting out into those views that make a life worth living here.
And then there are the people. One recent example: A benefit for one of the town’s bubbling characters was held on Friday and drew a flashback to the Crested Butte of the ’80s and ’90s. Kochevar’s was crowded with familiar faces. Experiencing a packed bar full of live music and laughing people took folks back in time. It was community—community there to help a friend in need. And in the course of that event, those who came to help were reminded why they are tied to the place and were once again helped themselves with perspective—of community.
So here is a shout out to the place. Thanks to its people, its opportunities, its scenery. We are blessed. And before we get caught up in a busy ski season where we move too fast and work too much and don’t appreciate the views enough or have the time to chat at the post office, take that extra second to be grateful. Now would be a good time to do that.
Not everyone can live or even visit here. You are one of the lucky ones. Your kids go to a good school. The stars shine brighter and the sky is bluer here. The bus is free. You live in a small town. You have the chance to breathe in nature and step into wild places (sometimes with the help of a chairlift) more than almost any other people in this world.
So take a second sometime this week and understand your fortune. Look around and take a deep breath of the thin, fresh air…and be thankful for this place and your place in it.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.