Many songs have been inspired by Colorado’s beauty. From the poem written by Katharine Lee Bates that became the lyrics to “America the Beautiful” to John Denver’s tribute, “Rocky Mountain High” to Kent’s contribution, “Going to Colorado”.
John Denver’s song was mistakenly identified as a ‘drug song’, which led to some radio stations banning the song. Denver later defended his song and advocated against censorship to Congress in 1985 explaining, “This was obviously done by people who had never seen or been to the Rocky Mountains, and also had never experienced the elation, celebration of life, or the joy in living that one feels when he observes something as wondrous as the Perseid meteor shower on a moonless, and cloudless night, when there are so many stars that you have a shadow from the starlight, and you are out camping with your friends, your best friends, and introducing them to one of nature’s most spectacular light shows for the very first time. Obviously a clear case of misinterpretation.”
Like John Denver, we are awed by Colorado’s allure and agree that people who have not experienced its splendor cannot vicariously understand the “high” that fills your spirit. You have to experience it for yourself. Life in Colorado is to be experienced outside. Year-round outdoor activities abound from skiing to golfing, hiking to water rafting, and sledding to hot air ballooning. With every activity, one can’t help but notice the beauty that is the backdrop for the experience.
Kent wrote about his inspiration for “Going to Colorado” last May:
“Living in Colorado, I sometimes take for granted the beauty that is around me all the time. So this is my way of showing appreciation for where I live through the eyes of someone who has decided to move here.”
This spring, as the days have consistently been warm, I have resumed hiking the many open space trails practically in our back yard. It always amazes me how the stresses of the day just fall away when I’m on a trail. Observing the scenery in every direction, one is met with magnificence in many forms—from the obvious mountainous landscape in the west to the tiny colorful wildflowers stretching their petals to the sun. It is easy to be awed by the splendorous feast for one’s eyes.
Kent and I are thankful to live in America and to reside in Colorado. We are thankful for our liberty and the beautiful surroundings we enjoy every day. Although we sometimes become so accustomed to these blessings that we take them for granted, we are awed by the splendor and humbled by our freedom when we take a moment to contemplate the world in which we live.