Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Roots that Refuse to Burn

Quote of the Day:
A house is not a home unless it contains
 food & fire for the mind as well as the body.
~Ben Franklin~

Current Local Weather:
Blissfully breathing in the almost clear air
Sharp winds present, reminding us daily of the
smoky dragon carcass sitting in the canyon.

Currently on iTunes:
“We Found Love”

Dear Friends, Family and my Family of Friends,

Don’t know if you heard about this, as it wasn’t in the news nearly as much as it should have been, but the whole F’ing town was on fire. The pic below is where it all started. 

Two weeks prior to this fire, Ella, Margo and I went hiking up the once beautiful Waldo Canyon (a.k.a. The Dragon). Right away, Ella had an issue with the 14% grade as we began to go up. She kept looking over the side and saying, “Mom, if I start rolling down that side, I’m going to fall right on down to the city! Don’t you know how high up we are?” She was panicking…big-time. As if on cue, two strapping young lads walked up near where we were and I asked them to talk to Ella.

Goal: To get her to calm down so we can get to the end before we get permanent burns from the sun.

They told her (and they were sooo cute and placating, makes me wish I was 19 again), “don’t worry; nothing really rolls down this mountain. Idiots like us wouldn’t be hiking here if that were possible.”

Hindsight being sharper than 20/20 or any other Bahbah Wa-Wa show, we now know that what they said is absolutely not true. Personally, I’m just thrilled we got to hike it and see the beauty that is available within a 10 sq mile radius of our home.

But, we did it. And I tell ya, we were proud.                                                                                                                     

Ok. Enough of that. Moving on to other matters and bothers of the day. Look at the picture below. Here’s where this blog becomes a horror story. This was taken earlier this week. This is what that beautiful canyon has done to our town.

It’s as sobering as it gets. It is the reality of my hometown.

Next morning, this is what we saw:

What struck me as odd about this pic is not the fact that it looks like a war zone, or that the cars are just as crispy and crunchy as the Colonel’s Original Recipe, is that the houses are gone but the trees are still standing.

Trees should have been the first things to go, adding fuel to the fire to burn the structures around them. However, as proven by this pic and others of the Waldo Canyon Fire Disaster, a.k.a. “Hell on Earth, 2012,”(thanks for the quote Mr. President) this is not the case.

Fires, regardless of the destruction they cause, do serve a purpose. It’s like nature's way of going to the IT department and saying…something’s not running right. And the IT department saying…did you turn it off and then back on? And like any obedient child of Mother Nature, they turn on the flame and start the world over.

Even though this fire took away 2 lives (God, thank you. It could have been so so so so many more), a HUGE amount of homes and a city’s general feel-good mojo, it didn’t tear down the family that is and always will be, Colorado Springs. What I love about this town is that it’s not hard to know everyone that’s on your block. It’s not hard to find your way around and if you get lost, there are people always willing to help you.

We’ve got a STRONG military presence.
We’ve got a STRONG economy.
We’ve got the STRONGEST sense of community of any place I’ve lived.
We’ve got, mostly, STRONG people and leaders.
We’ve got a STRONG sense of each other. 
We have a STRONG presence in the world.
We’ve DESTROYED what tried to DESTROY us.
We are STRONGER for it.

That’s right: We found love in a hopeless place.

When the shit hit the fan, there wasn’t mass chaos. It was an eerie calm. People were going about their business until someone got on the television and said, hey folks, mass vacation. Everyone get the hell out. Well, they said something like that.

There were news crews, cameras, twittering journalists, facebooking realists and random people, LOTS of them, asking how they could help. And not in the way of, how can we help from afar, it was more of the, our hands are already dirty in this town, so let’s go ahead and get filthy in the name of saving our city.

Hickenlooper and all of his pals remained calm. Thank the Lord.

Police, Firefighters, and all emergency personnel rallied. It was like this was a real life Cowboys-vs.-Aliens and we beat the ever living shit out of the Mothership.

So take that, Ms. Mother Nature. Ha. You can burn our house, but you can’t destroy our family tree. F#*@^ you.

We’re still here. In solidarity. Stronger than before. So here’s the first-draft of our community-warning letter:

Dear Mother Nature,

We hope this letter finds you well. We understand its raining on your plans to destroy us. Sorry about that. But you have to understand something…although we love what you’ve provided for us thus far and your beauty is always, whether destructive or not, awe-inspiring, please take note that we are NOT dead. We are still standing. We are STRONGER than your mountains. We are STRONGER than your wind, your embers or any other ball of fire you tried to send our way. We are taking our city back and you’re not in charge. Sorry. There’s a new order here. Don’t fuck with us again. Our family tree is stronger than you. 

Colorado Springs
a.k.a. your favorite Kick-Ass At-Altitude Community

Ok, Colorado Springs…got thoughts on the draft of my letter to Mother Nature? Send em. Send me stories of community via the comments for the blog. Let’s start a trend. A positive trend. A #WeWillNotBeDestroyedByFlames Tweeting Trend…Our hopeless place now has more love than ever before. Bring it.

Thank you to all who helped save us. We love you…and not the middle school kind of crush like love, we love you as if our lives depended on this love. Trust me on this.

Yours in Rage, Relief and Realizing the True Meaning of Community,


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