It’s snowing and you’re done with work so you bundle up and lock your door and head out for a walk. You don’t bring a flashlight because it’s bright outside, between the white on the ground and the lights from the houses on the street. You carefully cross the road and head up the hill, turning off of the slippery bike path and on to a gravel one that goes by the enormous scientific facility near your house. You’re not afraid even though it’s dark and maybe you’re trespassing, because this scientific facility reminds you of the one near your house growing up, and you paid your taxes last year. You power up the path, slowly climbing up the hill, but quickly losing the sound of the road below and dog walker behind you. When you stop walking, you realize that the only noise is the squeak of your boots on the snow and some vaguely scientific humming. There are houses near by and you can see the people inside them, cooking dinner, watching tv.
Nobody ever told you that snow-covered Boulder was the best Boulder. If they had, you wouldn’t have believed them. You moved here for 300 days of sunshine, bearded men and crop tops all year long, but they can’t hold you. But the snow on the ground as you approach the mountains might. Out here you could be anywhere. No one knows that you haven’t gone to the gym all week, or that you’re making biscuits for dinner instead of quinoa. There’s nothing that you want right now except to keep on walking until you can’t anymore. Eventually you need to turn around, and when you do you say a silent prayer of thanks for science, and the open spaces it sometimes affords. As you trudge home, you feel the tired in your bones and your body that you haven’t felt since April. You cross the street to your house and spread open your arms. You think it’s for balance, but really, it’s to welcome back winter.