Rich Mayfield: The color of crisis |

Rich Mayfield: The color of crisis

No worries.

You say the $700 billion bail-out kept you up last night? You’re stressing over the salaries of the mismanagers on Wall Street who, it appears, will make out like the bandits they most surely are? Are you afraid to take a peek at your 401K for fear there won’t be anything left to see?

Well hold it right there, friend. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, get up off your bottom and take a look at the tops … of the trees, I mean. It’s golden time! The aspens are at the height of their fall splendor this weekend so no matter what miserable state this nation is in, the state of Colorado is bursting with beauty.

Have you joined the millions of Americans whose home values have plummeted during the dog days of August, July, June and before? Are you wondering what happened to your retirement nest egg that was built so solidly on your basement’s foundation?

Well take a deep breath and break out in a big smile! Expand your carbon footprint just a smidgen by taking Highway 24 between Leadville and Vail. The canopy of color will do for you what Bernanke and Paulson cannot. It’s aspen time in the Rockies, when cynicism is banished and pessimism banned.

I know, I know, it’s hard to relax when the next leader of the free world could be a pistol-packing but Bible-believing mama whose knowledge of world affairs seems to come in carefully staged photo-ops or quotations from the Book of Revelation.

Forget that! Get out of your house and into the woods. McClure Pass should be right at its peak by Sunday. Walk through a forest of gold and yellow, orange and red. You’ll be surprised just how quickly the cares of the world fade away and your blood pressure drops down somewhere close to normal.

It isn’t irresponsible to set aside a week of worry and alarm for a few hours centered in the colors of creation. Visions of last Tuesday night’s prime time president staring into the camera like a bunny before an oncoming Buick, stunned by one more disaster occurring on his watch, will quickly disappear as you head deeper and deeper into the dream-inducing drama Mother Nature has in store.

Imagine Independence Pass lined with New York limousines this weekend! Why, the doom and gloom that has permeated the public airways with economic wailing and personal woe would dissipate in a spectacular display of autumn color!

No doubt, hard questions remain. Of course we need to be concerned with those troubling little tidbits like our manically mounting national debt and that pesky problem in Iraq and now Afghanistan, as well, but even President Bush takes a break from causing catastrophes. So why shouldn’t we get a reprieve from worrying about them?

Leave your Blackberry behind and take off for the hills. A little vacation for voters like us who’ve been pummeled by promises and lavished with lies seems perfectly appropriate, don’t you think? The biggest decision we should be forced to make this weekend is whether to head south to Boreas or north to Gore Pass.

Each fleeting year makes this golden time ever more precious and even more quickly gone. To miss out on this transient beauty seems the greatest of sins and the saddest of ill-spent days.

There is a message beyond this splendor that serves as a feast for the eye and a tonic for the troubled heart. It is a message for worried minds… “This, too, shall pass.”

Rich Mayfield is the author of “Reconstructing Christianity: Notes from the New Reformation.” E-mail him at

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