A few years ago living in Denver and needing a change of scenery, my friend Caitlin and I decided to head to Littleton to see the Christmas Trail of Lights display at the Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms. Since we already lived in the neighborhood of the York Street location and seen their garden lights, we decided it was time to head to a different destination. Running through the walkways and trying to stay warm in the chilly air, I continually wondered what the gardens looked like in the daylight. So, upon returning to Denver for my sister’s wedding a few years later, I know the one place I want to journey to. Luckily for me another friend, Reagan, who’s also visiting Denver, is eager to join me as I take a closer look at how these two different seasons and friendships evolve within the world of the Denver Botanic Gardens in Chatfield.
Walking past the entrance of Wildflower Gardens, Reagan and I are suddenly met with thunderstorms and rain. We run along the path, hoping the sky will clear or shelter will appear in the distance. Finding a house with a covered porch in the Hildebrand Ranch, we make our way to the porch as I wonder why I didn’t think to wear jeans like Reagan. Checking the weather ahead of time has never been my forte and my attempts to stage an outfit shot for my blog are thwarted as the rain continues to surround us. Thinking back to my time with Caitlin during Christmastime in 2012, I am reminded of how I quickly grew cold, but didn’t want to stop as colorful twinkling lights surrounded me. As I walked along the Trail of Lights, we enjoyed the limited times we had to see one another and constantly admired the reds, blues and yellows in our midst. Every chance we could, we huddled in shelter used for heat.
When the rain started, I recognized the same shelter across from a red barn and pull on the door handle hoping Reagan and I can escape the downpour. Unfortunately we struck out as I struggled to open the door, but now that we’re standing on the covered porch, it seems we didn’t need to pry open that door after all. Eventually the rain clears up and we’re able to venture out to an area of tall grasses, streams and large trees and use the long pathway to catch-up with our tales of graduate school and assistantships. Years earlier, I recall Caitlin and I doing the same thing. It seems the extended walk is perfect for us to explore more than local plants and Christmas decorations. As we wondered on where we wanted to eventually move and what kind of careers we would have, it seems strange to think that we’re heading in that direction now with Caitlin living and working in Portland. Whether I walk through the Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms in summer or winter, the conversations of friends near and far follow me as we make our way through unpredictable pathways of nature and life.
As Reagan and I make our way back to the beginning, the sky has cleared and the sun is out, typical behavior of Denver weather. I suppose if there’s one thing I can count on in Colorado and in my next journey it’s that the forecast will have certain elements of unpredictability. A few days before I arrive in Denver, Caitlin sends a text message hoping we get the chance to see one another although the date for when our paths can cross are uncertain. And that’s the one thing about life you can’t count on, that it will always change, that’s why I’m grateful to have loyal friends no matter which path I walk on.
Hours and Location
Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms: 8500 W Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton, Colorado, Open 9am-5pm.
This post is a part of Practical Mondays hosted by The Practical Mom, Flog Your Blog Fridays hosted by With Some Grace, Weekend Travel Inspiration hosted by Reflections Enroute, The Crowded Planet, Contented Traveller, Albom Adventures, Safari 254, FamiliesGo!, and Malaysian Meanders, The Weekly Postcard hosted by Travel Notes & Beyond, and City Tripping hosted by Wander Mum and Mummy Travels.