The skies have cleared. The sun is out. There are 4 and 5 foot piles of sand at places where children once played. It is life after the Colorado Flood. The National Guard has been here for several days with their giant, and very loud, helicopters bringing people who have no other way out of the high country, down to safety. The community is rallying. Somehow a disaster like this brings out the best in us.
We Are Not in Charge
Boulder consists of the highly educated, hippies and homeless, the hip and fit, musical and artistic, many flavors of deeply spiritual, many tongues due to foreign influence, and mostly physically and emotionally healthy. It’s a town on the go. People love to be out and on whatever form of transportation available to them. Today, we are grounded. There is a stunned silence in the air. We’ve gotten a big dose of “we are not in charge.” Nearly every road one would take to daily adventure eventually comes to a “road closed” sign because the road is gone. Just gone. We are hemmed in, our borders narrower. It will take years to repair the roads, to gain access again to the mountains we love, and to the homes of the currently homeless.
Over 1,500 homes were destroyed, as in washed down river. Thousands of people are still unaccounted for. Maybe dead, maybe just without a way to let loved ones know they are ok. No one knows for sure. The rivers are mostly in back in their banks. The water now heading to the eastern plains where, without the mountains to channel them, they are spreading farther and wider… and wreaking more havoc. One must bow to water’s strength and determination. As the waters recede I notice they’ve chosen a new path. Following the path of least resistance, they have rearranged their course.
As usual, I seek the symbolism or metaphor in such an event. I imagine those of you who are divorcing can relate deeply to being caught in a current that has a life of its own, leaving a wake of destruction. A life rearranged after its passing. Piles of debris to sort through for anything of value upon which you can place some sentiment, to help you feel grounded. A world washed away, and with it some stamina for dreaming of a future reality that makes some sense. For a while you just have to do the sorting, and feel all the emotions that comes with such chaos. After that rite of passage something more tangible begins to take form.
This is a time to be with friends and supporters. Neither flood nor divorce should be experienced alone. It’s too much. It overwhelms our resources leaving us crippled. Don’t do that to yourself.
Until next time, please take care of yourself, and take care of those you love. Life is short and nothing brings that home quite like a tragedy. It reminds us of what is important.