Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ephemeral Good Fortune

I live in Loveland, Colorado.

The town sits on the high plain near a river. The town itself is charming – a thriving art community, some nice restaurants and shops. Plus, we could take the highway west up through an incredibly beautiful canyon, into the artsy mountain town of Estes Park, then into Rocky Mountain National Park.

Whenever everyday life became too banal or stressful or whatever, I would drive up that highway, through 'my canyon' and into the park, to 'my meadow.' About this time each year, I would make a special trip just to hear the elks bugle during their annual mating ritual. So beautiful. So awesome.

I can't do that this year. Most of the road has been washed away. It may take years to restore the highway, and the mountain town.

The flooding around here is unimaginable. And weird. Much of the town, including my house, is virtually unscathed but, even as I write this, I hear helicopters overhead moving up into the mountains to rescue stranded people and animals. So many lives irrevocably damaged.

And here in town, anything that was along the river pretty much isn't there any more.

And yet here I am – fine, harvesting tomatoes and raspberries and picking roses for the dining room table.

My heart goes out to all those who have lost so much. Their incredible losses remind us that life can change radically, almost instantly. That things we think are permanent, aren't.

And to be grateful for tomatoes, and raspberries and roses – whenever they are in our grasp.

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