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Friday, September 12, 2014

The Colorado Flood Revisited--The Story of Resilience and Renewal

Colorado Flood Revisited- A Year Ago Riding in a Highloader to Get to The YMCA to Talk Strategy
Last year this time most of Colorado was being inundated with rain. So much rain, in fact, we experienced devastating floods. People lost their lives. Homes slid down hillsides and many people had to be evacuated. We were among those affected. You might remember my blog about it. We were lucky, though, our story was more one of inconvenience rather than devastation. But it was scary.

We were living in Estes Park over the summer because our new home was being renovated to make it accessible for our whole family. We had moved to Longmont to be nearer our warehouse for our new business. Both Estes Park and Longmont were hard hit.

On September 13, 2013 we evacuated up the side of a mountain using a fire escape route and we ended up living at a Ramada Inn for over a week in Denver and then decided to move into our house under construction. We bought inflatable beds to sleep on and used packing boxes for tables. We had no kitchen so we ate out or bought pre-packaged foods. We tried to be mindful and attentive to what we were eating. It was not easy given the circumstances. We did our best to work out regularly but it was not as consistent as it should have been. It was another two months before we had a working kitchen and our furniture out of storage. It took us a long time to unpack.

Looking back I now understand how traumatized we were, like so many. The magnitude of the Colorado Floods and the force of Mother Nature shook  our sense of stability and safety...to the core. None of us ever imagined what happened could actually happen to us.

And then there are the images of the destruction. The force of the water ripped tall trees from their roots, rivers permanently changed course and entire roads collapsed and were washed away. There are now fields of boulders where there were once pastures of flowers. You can still see a car lodged in a tree along the road to Estes Park.

For the longest time I could not go back to the summer place we stayed in. I didn't want to relive the devastation and destruction. A place I loved and had spent 40 years enjoying had had its eyes gouged out. Where there was a road there was now debris, boulders and a deep crevasse. How could I ever see beauty again?
The Colorado Flood Brought Such Devastation

Then the very Mother Nature that had caused all the damage taught me a lesson. It took me until June to go back. Admittedly it would have been hard to visit much sooner because the road had been washed away. Some of the road has now been repaired so we can at least get there.

The scourge to the land is still very visible. But if you take a closer look you see new life sprouting up everywhere. Mother Nature has kept going. She sees cataclysmic events as opportunity for new growth. There is no holding her back. She just keeps going. As she goes, she grows.

The people of Colorado, just like Mother Nature, have persevered, shown their resilience and gone about renewing their lives. It has been remarkable to witness and experience.

Personal observation has shown me that resilience and renewal are key factors in our ability to be healthy in our mind and spirit. Mother Nature is our guide.
The Colorado Flood Revisited--The Story of Resilience and Renewal