Ranger Kathryn's Arches

October 23, 2012

Years that answer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 5:41 am
Tags: , ,

The thin autumnal light weakly illuminates our sandstone, as if its power has been usurped, its strength stolen. Leaves relinquish their chlorophyll, glittering bright yellow in the sun, contrasting with bluest blue skies. Temperature extremes are behind us. Snowdust caresses the heights of the La Sal Mountains. October is the month that all the locals wait for, long for, yearn for — best month in the calendar. What a gift.

And, once more, it is the month in which I find myself homeward bound. House is cleaned, recycling sorted, canned goods given away, borrowed items returned, laundry done, suitcases packed, boxes filled, thrift store donations accomplished. The annual ritual of seasonal park rangers replays itself with little variation.

Chris’s last day of work. Photo credit: Yoko.

I use superlatives sparingly, but hear this: it’s been the best twelve months of my life. In all my decades, no interval has been as consistently fulfilling and satisfying as this one. I woke up every day in one of the most beautiful national parks in the country, put on a uniform I love, gave interpretive talks I’m passionate about, shared with visitors my joy. Watched breathtaking sunsets nightly, slept under a Milky Way blanket, listened often to the silence, hiked hundreds of miles, climbed my first desert tower, explored remotest ruins, and fell in love with an extraordinary man. (I tell you, it would still have been the best even without that last bit.) I’m blessed beyond measure.

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” *

Beautifully, beautifully, this has been a year with many answers.

~~ May be continued ~~

* Opening line of Chapter 3 of Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God.


  1. Two of nature’s precious gifts… A yellow autumn with a cerulean sky, and falling in love.

    Comment by Ron Carroll — October 23, 2012 @ 6:02 am | Reply

  2. Sis I am really happy that you have a job you love and that is so rewarding to you…I am even more excited that you found somebody to share your love with..we are excited to meet the man that stole my sisters heart.

    Comment by Chris — October 23, 2012 @ 6:38 am | Reply

  3. He is a fortunate man! So glad you had a great year. Hurry back!


    Comment by Pk — October 23, 2012 @ 7:17 am | Reply

  4. I sleep better at night knowing that my public lands are stewarded by someone with your kind of Heart & Passion.

    Comment by midsummerman — October 23, 2012 @ 8:30 am | Reply

  5. A blessed year for an old friend that is one of the angels in the world. I am so very glad that you had an extraordinary, beautiful, healing, God splashed year.

    Comment by Kate Kresse — October 23, 2012 @ 11:26 am | Reply

  6. Have you been assigned to your next park yet?……..if its zion then I hope you post lots of pictures

    Comment by superdave0002 — October 23, 2012 @ 2:11 pm | Reply

  7. Yay for being happy! I like your closing quote. Looking fwd to meeting Chris.

    Comment by modapolis — October 24, 2012 @ 11:44 am | Reply

  8. Intentionally stumbled upon your blog site to see how you are doing these days and was happy to see familiar faces in one very familiar photo. Hope your families are doing okay. Looking forward to an update, especially the state of the flower bouquet in your guest bedroom.

    Comment by Y.K. — October 30, 2012 @ 8:33 pm | Reply

    • Y, you are too much. Please stumble over to my FB page (you can find it under Kathryn Colestock) and be my friend. Then we can message each other about “how we are doing.”

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — November 4, 2012 @ 10:13 am | Reply

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