I understand why, in 1893 on a visit to Colorado Springs, Katharine Lee Bates was inspired to write America, The Beautiful. There’s almost too much here to take in at once, I don’t know where to look first. There’s just no hiding I’m a gawking tourist.

We’ve been visiting our longtime friends Steve and Alana Smith and their three kids, Georgia, Tucker and Brawner. Yep, Brawner for Jim Brawner. Yesterday, Steve, Georgia, and Tucker took us to Garden of the Gods, a 1350 acre city park dedicated in 1909. A city park, in my mind, has a walking/bike path, a jungle gym, some swing sets and maybe an ultimate Frisbee course. In Colorado, like everything else, the parks are different.

Among the walking trails huge red sandstone rock formations seem to be growing out of the ground like corn and cabbage in a garden. It’s like nothing I’d ever seen before. We only had a short hour to explore, which really isn’t fair. It was like eating one peanut or potato chip.

For me the most fascinating thing in the park was Balanced Rock. It was as if one good shove would send it rolling, but it stood steady. I wondered how it stayed there. It reminded me we all hang somewhere in the fragile balance. Some days I feel like one good shove would send me rolling too.

I suppose finding the balancing point is a continuing process of tipping, getting up adjusting, and trying again, kind of like learning to ride a bike. At some point you learn what it takes to keep it balanced enough to avoid a crash. Lately I’ve discovered the sweet spot of balance is somewhere between too much and not enough and it’s something that can’t be checked off the list of things to do. It’s a lifelong challenge.

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