We booked the trip last February. At the time September seemed surreal. Are you sure we should go the last weekend? Sure. There’s no home football game, the Littles will be settled into school, and it’ll be nice to get away. We’ll need it by then, we reasoned.
I’ve never been to Colorado in the Fall. The aspen will be changing, the elk in rut, Rocky Mountain National Park will brim with a season we only read about in fairy tales. Autumn. A weekend alone. Just the two of us. Fly-fishing, writing, red wine, and relaxing. On the horizon in late September.
And then this happened.
We didn’t understand at first. Sun scorched, in the middle of a Texas drought, the news of flood and devastation in Colorado seriously didn’t register. But the images and stories persisted. We sat in disbelief, unable to comprehend what we were seeing and hearing. Tragedy from a distance doesn’t make sense. We kept on doing what we do, but our hearts ached for Colorado, especially Estes Park and our home away from home at the YMCA of the Rockies.
Our happy place was far from happy.
I wish I could say we had a plan from the get go. That we were wise or strong or giving enough to know what to do in the midst of chaos and tragedy. Honestly, we did what we were told. We cancelled our reservations for our long weekend at the cabin at the YMCA of the Rockies. We waited it out a day or two. Eventually Husband booked a fancy schmancy hotel in Vail. It’ll be nice to get away, we reasoned. Besides we already have the airline reservations.
Last Saturday morning, we both woke up unusually early. Both of us uneasy, me with a pit in my stomach. Long before the sun broke dawn, we had talked it out. We couldn’t go to Vail and sit fat and happy while our happy place was sad. Certainly we could do something. But what? What if we’re just a burden? What if they think we are just token weekend warriors trying to make good?
Our hearts told us what our minds could not reason. Go. Go and be. Be there. Help as needed. Show up.
As you read this, Husband and I will have just landed in Denver. The same flight we booked last February. Our September weekend still feels surreal. I’m not sure what God has planned, but I know He has a plan. We’ll be in Estes Park, helping our friends and family at the YMCA of the Rockies as they coordinate relief efforts and host evacuees and front line rescue teams.
As for our happy place? Estes Park and the surrounding area know a resiliency and strength that can make a Texan quiver in his boots. The mountains breed fortitude.
I’ll keep you posted as I can. In the meantime, will you join us in prayer for Colorado? For all those affected by the largest flood in the state’s history?
Wherever you are, be Mountain Strong!