What a week. The Colorado floods are proof that devastation, anxiety, great love, tenderness, grief, generosity, helplessness, and grounded service all live side by side. What we think of as solid (roads, buildings, structures) is not. What we think of as ephemeral (love, care for one another, generosity), is not.
I have been blown wide open, again and again, by witnessing the generosity of loved ones, strangers, and those in service in this flood–countless rescued from their homes and cars, an old lady who didn’t speak english being driven home by a stranger (she kissed his hand and wept with gratitude), pets nursed back to life, a lady on the street lending her baby for a hug to a friend whose house was destroyed, and on and on and on.
Wednesday and Thursday nights I stayed in glued to my computer, tracking my friends via facebook and the flood via the news. I felt shaken and frozen and helpless in the face of the collective trauma. Then, when the roads cleared a bit the next day, I knew I needed to get out and help. It felt so good to be in community serving–helping a friend muck out her house and salvage what she could from the mudslide that used to be her home, staying on the phone with another friend as she tried to maneuver down from the mountains through blocked roads then taking her to her storage unit to assess the damage, lending a stranger my office so she could see her clients, etc. etc..
It’s funny, when I see others helping, I’m moved by their generosity, but as I help, I can see how self-serving it actually is. My heart gets to be nourished when I offer out of genuine desire. I’m “flooded” with love, warmth, and a connection to my community that is incomparable to anything else.
And all of this depends upon right listening. If we give when it’s our time to rest, then we deplete ourselves. If we don’t give when it’s our time to give then we stagnate and grow bitter. Love needs to flow, unimpeded, in both directions for us to thrive.
So thank you, Colorado–for giving, for receiving, and for opening my heart.
P.S. If you feel inspired by this post and want to receive others like it, sign up for my newsletter by clicking here.