While back in Colorado, where I spent two years in grad school plus quite a few shorter stints, I was vividly reminded of fundamental reasons I had missed the great, western state.
Some things are luxuries: nice furnishings, relationships with great people, exceptional memories of music-making in a vibrant music community, a relatively healthy church, and even views of the grand Rockies. (I’m seeing the Front Range off a west-side deck as I type these words.) These are luxuries and as such are non-essential.
In Colorado, though, these two things seem life-giving: a drink of mere tap water, and a filling breath of clean, dry air. Air and water are essentials for living. If these are not readily available, life can seem, well . . . shriveled up and short of breath. There’s a reason they call them “essentials.”
P.S. There’s not a lot my area can do about the air, but they could do something about the water.