When the Air Force brought us here in 1962, the big attraction was the surroundings - mountains, forests, clear air - starkly different from previous assignments.
Over the years, other reasons for loving the Springs began to sink in: cultural gems (Broadmoor, fine arts, symphony, opera), proximity to first-class skiing, excellent medical facilities, a well-managed city with dependable services, conservative/libertarian values (including this newspaper), presence of many ministry headquarters, and the way people and groups look out for the welfare of others.
But I go back to the first reason - the natural conditions that God had already put here long before man arrived. I suppose this is why so many people come here on vacation - to 'vacate ' their normal places deep within steel and concrete jungles or towns with confining tree-covered streets or farmlands so flat you wonder if the world is really round. All of these places are necessary, but they are not Colorado Springs.
'Pikes Peak or Bust! ' Whether for gold or to get a good strong dose of God's creation, go to the Pikes Peak area.
Yes, but we don't have to go here; we are here, 'on vacation ' all the time. We can enjoy the views and invigorating changes in weather while going to and from work, or maybe through windows at work. We have easy access to first-class trails for running, biking, hiking, horseback riding. We can go into seemingly endless forests for peace, restoration, good exercise.
We can just stay in town and feel the protection of Pikes Peak and the Palmer Divide. All in all, Colorado Springs nurtures us into being one of the most physically and spiritually healthy populations in the country.
Beyond that, the reason for loving Colorado Springs may be more primeval - a deep awareness of the inborn drive in all of us for nature, for God's world.
For some, it is the sea.
For us, it is the mountains, unspoiled spaces, starry skies, flora, fauna - all so strong, so everywhere, so hard to ignore. Couple that with often having to be aware of and deal with the weather, and we develop a realization of how dependent we are on conditions and powers outside of ourselves, as did our predecessor Native Americans who had great respect for things elemental, strong ties to the ground, total faith in the Great Spirit that is in control of it all.
In Colorado Springs, it is easy to dive into the answer to the catechism question: 'What is the chief end of man? '
Answer: 'To glorify God and enjoy Him forever. '
Toledo, Ohio, native Jim Strub attended Cornell University and served 30 years in the United States Air Force, including airlift, four tours in Colorado Springs (three in ADC/NORAD/ Space Command, one at USAFA) and one year in Vietnam. After retiring, he worked as an aerospace engineer and a volunteer in various ministries, including Kairos in Colorado state prisons.
How to participate:
Whether it's the area's natural beauty, the outdoor activities or the cost of living, share your thoughts, your memories, your reasons why you love our city. Participate by sending your short essay, up to 450 words, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a photo and short bio to accompany your piece.