We have returned to Boulder! I am over-the-moon happy about it, too.
There is something amazing that happens with your perspective when you leave the bubble of Boulder and then return.
First, the light. The light in Boulder is buzzing with happiness and joy. I know, I know. The sun is the same sun anywhere, right? But not to a photographer. There is something I see in the light in each city I travel to that is unique and beautiful and full of it’s own moods and emotions.
The light in Boulder is close to my heart.
It is buzzing with the collective good hearts of the people who live here. It is singing a song with the mountains. It is a joyful light.
As a photographer, light is what defines my daily life. In Maine, overcast days were sad and gloomy. Here, sunless days are washed with brilliant blues and different cloud formations everywhere you look. You can actually SEE rain falling in different areas of the city. The sky is so, so big.
But more than the light, there is just a feeling of goodness here.
People are beautiful. Yes, the average person walking down the street or at the grocery store are all good looking. When you live here for a long time, you may start holding yourself to a weirdly perverse and unattainable standard. But I left for two years and came back. I was not pretty in Maine. But here, I have a skip in my step because I know there are a handful of people that love my long, unstyled hair and bohemian skirts. I often don’t wear shoes and usually don’t wear make up. That is ok here, too.
People are happy in Boulder. We lived in a devastatingly divided socioeconomic area in Maine. People were mostly either *very* wealthy or living on welfare. There was almost no middle class. We lived in the fetal alcohol syndrome capital of the country, and we lived in the best school district in the mid-coast. Adam came home each night so sad and disheartened by the children he worked with in the schools. Here, the children are a bit spoiled, yes, but the range of educational activities, the abundance of social services for families, and proliferation of arts and music are overwhelming. I don’t have to struggle to try to get Elijah in the ONE STEM camp that is offered for 30 lucky children a year. There are literally hundreds to choose from.
And everyone has their own personal mission of saving the world. Already, I am involved in a fundraiser to help bring yoga to populations that otherwise would not have the opportunity, and a documentary film to educate friends and family on domestic violence.
This is the norm, too. There are incredible, mind blowing, innovative projects arising out of every small corner in Boulder. Enviorment, architecture, health, lifestyle, parenting, mindfulness-there are so many brilliant minds here working hard in so many different areas that I feel dizzy sometimes.
My daughter’s second grade public school teacher exchanges TED Talk links with me. Elijah’s first sleepover was at a house that just happened to be filled with visiting international scientists that night. Our neighbors bring over bags of vegetables, herbs, flowers, and cookies at least every other day.
After 14 years of living in Boulder Bubble, leaving, and returning, I can say definitively that humans beings are capable of organizing a sane society.
And I get to live here. With my family.
I am so lucky.
Stacey Potter is a family photographer who has been photographing Boulder families since 2008. To book your family photography session or for more info, email Stacey at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303.818.7757
Click to view her family photography portfolio.