Lessons of the Flood

Flooded Highway 36 in Lyons, CO
Flooded Highway 36 in Lyons, CO
September 12, 2013

I was one of the lucky ones; our house was on high ground and didn’t get damaged by the flooding in Lyons, Colorado.  But my family still had to evacuate and spend a month moving between various hotels in Longmont, CO. The entire town of Lyons lost sewer, water and gas service. And it still hasn’t been restored.

A few lessons I learned from the flood:

1. Mother Nature is in charge. We humans can fool ourselves for awhile, but when push comes to shove, nature rules.

2. People are amazingly kind-hearted. I saw so much compassion and caring in Lyons in the days and weeks after the flood. My heart continues to overflow with gratitude and joy for all the acts of kindness, both big and small that I witnessed.

3. Not having a place to go home to sucks.  Just this tiny taste of homelessness gave me huge compassion for people who spend months or years living in their cars or on the streets. Not having a home is truly nerve wracking.

4. I love Lyons, Colorado!  The town is still a complete mess, but I want to be part of this community.

5. Stress can literally kill you. Our 3 1/2 year old male cat Raja didn’t make it through a month of being away from home. Even though he was staying with an amazing friend, Raja got so stressed that he stopped eating.  Good bye, buddy! I hope you’re now hunting and sunning in cat heaven.

6. Flowing water can transform the landscape in a matter of minutes. The St Vrain river valley that I have loved and walked and photographed is now a different place.

After the Flood
After the Flood

Water does NOT submit to human control. We can dam it up, and try to stop it, but we should NEVER forget that water is born to flow. And it will continue to flow whether we humans like it or not!  Water will NOT be controlled.

7. Flow never stops; Each drop of water on planet earth is on a flowing journey that never ends. This visual of the ocean’s currents, gives us a hint of just how amazing water’s flowing journey truly is:

And my own journey continues; My husband and I spent days searching for a new place to roost without any results. Then, due to the kindness of my favorite realtor, Mark Webber, we rented a great house on the edge of Lyons. This one has a septic system and well (!)  AND a kick ass view:

Blue Mountain
Blue Mountain

Was this experience good? or bad?  Like the old Buddhist story goes, it’s still too soon to tell…

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