It was autumn, 1994. I silently slipped out the door of the Salt Lake City convention hall, leaving behind the horde of zealous, juiced up conventioneers. Free at last. My rental car and I headed southwest toward Sundance -- a destination that had been on my Bucket List for over 10 years. My daughter had fallen in love with Sundance when she was there as a college student for the Film Festival earlier in the year and she raved about it. Mountains. Redford. What could be better? I expected it to be wonderful. I didn't expect it to change my world.
The minute I turned the car up the north fork of Provo canyon, something inside me shifted. Senses heightened. The fall colors seemed more brilliant, the sky more crystal clear and blue. Even the air felt different on my skin. Moments later I stood in the heart of the Sundance resort amidst the best that nature has to offer, quietly surrounded by buildings designed so thoughtfully that they disappear into the landscape. Total harmony. Sun beams shone through the towering pines to form diamonds on the river. I stared in awe at the Native American statue that sits majestically at the head of the waterfall. I swear I heard his ancestors whispering in the wind. That's when I went into sensory overload....and burst into tears. This from a non-crier. What's up with THAT, I wondered briefly. But I knew. I was simply bowled over by the power of perfection. And I knew I would return to this place some day.
It took 17 years to get to Some Day. In the fall of 2010, my daughter and I arrived at Sundance to spend 4 days together celebrating her 40th birthday. I was nervous as I drove up the road that leads to Sundance. What if my memories were grander than reality. Turns out that reality was grander. The beauty and essence of Sundance simply took my breath away. I was home.
Kelsey and I shared days filled with laughter, experiencing the best that Sundance has to offer -- fly-fishing, hiking, jewelry-making, horseback riding, walking, exploring, and talking for hours in front of a blazing fire in our perfect Storybook Stone Cottage. No Redford, no problem. Our hosts, Vicki and Brad, are exquisite ambassadors for this heavenly corner of the world called Sundance that makes my spirit soar. They grew up here. I think maybe they're the two luckiest people in the whole wide world. But now it feels like home to me, too. Lucky me.