Finally, after a long drive far away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, a place I now call home, I am warmly greeted by a familiar site. With a sense of urgency and relief, I slowly stretch my legs slightly cramped after countless hours behind the wheel. Standing before a tattered brown sign, I silently remind myself to resume a long forgotten yoga practice, once I return to the Pacific Coast. I smile widely as I am comforted by the words, “Welcome to Colorful Colorado”.

Excitedly, I hurry back into the confines of my truck breaking an earlier promise to take ten minutes to gather myself before the final leg of my journey back home. Continuing east, I become more and more moved by the sights of increasingly beautiful surroundings, slightly marred by a bug stained windshield. I become mesmerized by the darkened clouds that playfully scatter flashes of light harmlessly in the distance. Softly, the sounds of thunder quietly beckon me to absorb the refreshing moisture of a light drizzle that gently blesses the thirsty land. In a state of reverence and awe, I continue weaving my way along the winding Colorado River, darkened by the runoff from distant mountain peaks, still clinging to long forgotten winter storms. Two red tailed hawks playfully circle in unison far above green pastures glistening against the backdrop of jagged summits. Instantly, I become mesmerized by the tapestry of the natural beauty that engulfs me.

My truck clings to the dampened asphalt, as I quicken my pace, impatient to return to the Roaring Fork Valley. No longer my home, I am once again beckoned to return, as if by a friend who misses me as much as I miss her. I am flooded by an onslaught of pleasant memories. Countless hours spent in the majesty of her varied terrain, partaking in numerous activities, flood my mind. I become intoxicated by the remembrance of such a pleasant and storied history while a resident of the area. Lovingly, I recall the friendships nurtured over those years, many of whom I still remain connected to, some of whom I will see while on this visit.

Unexpectedly, a tear wells up in my eyes. I recall a friend who is no longer here. Mixed emotions swell in me as I recall her smiling face and a childlike essence that exuded a contagious mix of innocence, wonder, and joy. She was like a hummingbird, joyfully bestowing blessings, fluttering from flower to flower, gathering a sweetness that feed her soul. Sadly, the nectar she sought was clouded by the poison of alcohol and drugs. She and I once shared a disease that is similar to diabetes and cancer, her life was taken, mine was spared. Perhaps, if I would have mentioned my concerns, she would still be here. I don’t know. I grieve for her, her widower, her family, and friends. I grieve for all those involved in that tragic accident that took her life not too long ago.

My dear friend, I will always be inspired by you and the way you lived life to its fullest. When I return home, I will hang your picture above the door way, share your story and continue your legacy through the work I do. I miss you and love you.

In Loving Memory of Josanna Morningstar Reese
8-14-82 to 4-04-05