Aspen Grove means being in a forest nestled under scenic Mount Timpanogos, spending time with family, laughing all the time, playing sports, staying in cabins, swimming, hiking, fishing, climbing, meeting new people, and eating three good meals a day without having to plan. It means birthdays, since I've spent at least three there, including my 16th and 18th ones. It reminds me of my carefree childhood and my mother. Perhaps most of all, to me, Aspen Grove signifies romance.
Later, when I was 10 years old, my family went to Aspen Grove again. And I met a boy again. This time, I was sure that it wasn't only a crush, but deepest love. I spent most of the week following him around trying to show off how outdoorsy I was. I even pretended to like fishing, since he spent so much time doing it. At the end of the week dance, I burst into desperate tears during the Proclaimers song 500 miles and took off to sit on a bench outside. As I cried, I saw Royden slowly approach me. I sat there with a stomach full of butterflies, trying not to look at him. This was it. He was coming to tell me he loved me, I just knew it. When he got to my bench, he shyly said, "Um, I never got your name." I was shattered. However, this didn't keep me from thinking we'd one day find each other and express our undying love.
Now that I'm married and already in love, I wonder what the experience will be like this time. The excitement of infatuation may be gone, but more meaningful things can take its place, like the security of knowing that you are loved in return. I used to think that when you got married, your opportunities for new love were over, but when I had my baby, I fell in love all over again. Even though it wasn't romance, it was still wonderfully exciting.
I didn't end up meeting my husband at Aspen Grove; I met him at the most mundane of places--a church activity. It wasn't a beautiful forest environment, but I know now that the quality of the love doesn't depend on the surroundings. Romance can still exist in a shabby basement apartment. Nope, I must say, love isn't what I expected it to be when I was a child, when I followed boys around, showed off, and cried over them. Thankfully, it's much better than that.