"We are all wanderers on this earth...our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams." ~ Gypsy proverb

Monday, September 16, 2013

Water, water everywhere

What a weekend. I really don't know where to begin. Shall I start last Wednesday when the downpours in Boulder began and didn't stop for 3 days? Or when we and some of our friends left that very day and drove 4.5 hours to go on a rafting trip down the CO river for those same 3 days?

Water. Water was to be our future no matter what direction we went.

So as we set off on our rafting adventure Thursday morning, that was the first we heard of the flooding at home. We considered turning back and going home, but with the roads being closed and more rain coming to Boulder, there was little we could do. Moving forward seemed the best decision at that point.

So we paddled down the river with spotty blue skies and rain clouds off in the distance. Red, gorgeous canyons with lines of geological history imbedded in its wrinkles became our views.

I think all of our minds were wandering between here and there, the taste of bitter and sweet mingling in and around the rafts that held us afloat. We kept in touch regularly with friends and family from Boulder. I was feeling quite helpless and often guilty for the tranquil moments we were having with water. And then our challenge came...

We could see the lightening storm approaching with its accompanying cracks of foreboding thunder, rain curtains slowly dragging across the landscape like a dress too long. I dared to enjoy the white strikes of beauty that flashed across the sky, and chase away fear's creeping stench by focusing on finding a landing point for the rafts. Where we were, the Colorado river was lined with brush, rocks and cliffs, with very few landing points between campsites. Intrepidness was necessary at this point, for our own hearts and for our children's. We got separated from the other two rafts right as the downpour began. Thinking that they landed on the other side of the rocky island that separated us, we landed too with only the kind of grace that kept us from getting hurt, certainly not the kind that defined beauty. It was the only landable area nearby, but there was absolutely zero shelter to hide from the lightening. And then we saw the other two rafts emerge downstream.  Crap.

We scrambled back onto the rafts quickly and gingerly as mud sucked at our water shoes and threatened to make every surface we touched an accident scene. Lightening continued with thunder and rain everywhere. When we did catch up to the other two rafts they had stopped along a bank filled with brush, climbed up and had bushwhacked out of visibility. We did the same, dragging along our tarp to try to create a shelter for ourselves. There we were, all rafts separated from each other but within in yelling distance, huddled in various spots along the bank, among brush, bushes, and mud, waiting for it all to end...and then...

"Mom!!!! I found a caterpillar!!!!! Oh he is sooo cute! I am going to call him Squishy!!"

I think it was more like an inchworm, but after she found Squishy, the rain soon stopped, and we all emerged from our thicketed cocoons---renewed, re-spirited, and relieved...

(Sidenote: Squishy actually ended up not surviving the rest of the trip, reminding us how fragile we all are whether we are plucked from the comfort of our homes or not. )

The rest of the rafting trip was equally memorable with a few more lightening storms, torrential downpours, and group huddles under extra large tarps. Not to say we didn't enjoy ourselves with campfires, hikes, swimming and mudpies---bittersweet mudpies knowing what was still going on at home...

Meanwhile, stories from home of flooded basements, roads turning to riverbeds, and an entire town being evacuated kept me mindful of the contrasts of nature's powers, and just how fortunate we are to survive anything. 

And that's what we humans do best, we survive and we help each other survive. Floods, typhoons, hurricanes, lightening storms, ultimately we have no choice but to say "bring it". No matter what challenges come our way we figure out a way to face them, accept them, deal with them, and overcome them. And we can only hope that along the way that we learn something, and are forever grateful to experience another day.

We are home now, and our house miraculously managed well through the rain, only a few leaks despite being next to the creek. And with schools closed for the next few days, we look to helping our friends and neighbors in any way we can...

Sending love and prayers to all those in need...

Much love to you all



  1. You and all the other people of CO have been in my thoughts MJ and I am so happy to hear you are well.
    I really enjoyed looking at your photos, it's been too long since I have been west and I find I am really missing it.

  2. how exhilarating!

    so your own house was okay? how's the clean-up in the town getting on?

  3. happy to hear you and yours are well and making the most of everything life throws your way!

  4. What a trip. Thoughts to all of you in CO, you have been on my mind all weekend.

  5. sounds like quite the eventful trip. your home survived everything alright? I'm glad you're ok xxx

  6. Oh MJ, I can't tell you how often I have thought of you this past week, and sent prayers for your safety.

    So glad to hear that are home, safe, and mostly dry.

    It is amazing how quickly the beauty of water becomes something more powerful and frightening...

    Hugs to you!

  7. So glad that you and yours fared well in all this. Sounds like a lovely trip, too!

  8. thinking of you
    love the journey down the water way....

    love and light

  9. So glad to hear that you all are safe as well as your home. xo

  10. So very glad they you all found safety. What an incredible journey, though...xoxo


“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
~ George Bernard Shaw