September 17, 2013

Dear Boulder: A Love Letter from the Outside Looking In.

Dear Boulder,

You captivated an amazingly inspirational time in my life and you are the most memorable city I’ve lived in, with the a long-lasting effect on my psyche that has grown throughout the past five years and beyond.

During the current flood crisis happening, I’ve tried to find the words to express what I feel. I see the photos; I read the news reports. I comment on one Facebook post (and video footage) after another of entire surrounding charming mountain towns being swept away.

I am completely devastated by all that you are going through, and will continue to experience for many months to come.

I loved biking, running and hiking all over your landscape.

You see, I lived in your fine city from 1998-2008. I gathered and nourished one soul connection after another—you continue to have a very large piece of my heart that never goes away.

When I first noticed the impact of the flood, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of “I wish I was there to help in some way.” The numerous friends I am honored to know and have continued to stay in touch with are undergoing a complete overhaul of their lives. It makes me sad in a profound way.

From a distance, I hear (and see) the impact is on these people and animals, and it makes my heart sink into what they are going through. Yes, most are keeping their strength and courage and doing the best they can—but, the dark circles under their eyes, the drawn faces, the lost dogs and cats, families with no water or food—it affects my soul.

There are no answers to Mother Nature and her powerful effects. No one could have predicted the immense devastation that has gripped you and the surrounding mountain towns.

I have such beautiful thoughts of the many adventures I had there. Expressive, fun and life-changing events came out of your perimeter of open space—I will always feel blessed and grateful. Even as I continually got busted for dogs-off-leash in certain open space trail areas, I still managed to conjure up the practical side of me and abide by the rules. (It pissed me off sometimes, but I was never a fan of dogs-on-leash. Maybe it’s because I lived high on Sugarloaf mountain and it wasn’t a requirement. But, I respected your wishes to preserve the trails to keep the people happy about dog companionship.)

“It was just another phase of Boulder” was my subconscious doing its thing.

I feel like what is happening to my friends, my old community and the spirit of you, Boulder, is gripping me in a way that I couldn’t predict; you were my home for 10 years, longer than any other city I have resided in on my journey through this life. Other than my birthplace, you had me for a good long while. I haven’t been back since I rolled out of there with a small U-Haul in 2008, en route to the west coast.

Do I regret not returning for a visit since I left? You bet I do, as nowhere compares to the lush mountains, the easygoing liberal vibe, the friendliest and most community-oriented people I have known on the planet, as well as wide open spaces to play and romp—this is what you are about in every sense of the word.

North shore Kauai came very close in comparison, but I only spent a few months there to accomplish a big piece of my own puzzle, and I nourished some very awesome friendships. Wherever I go, new and close connections are tops on my list to always keep in my heart.

But, I stayed with you the longest, Boulder, before I even set sail on my journey. You basically launched me into a different phase of living.

What a blessing.

As I witness the flooding and towns being swept away, homes being toppled by the hillsides, and families being displaced, I can only stay connected through my heart and spirit. You are a proud and unique place.  I am truly an outsider now looking in.

Even as I type this, I feel overwhelmed with emotion about how much this is costing the town and it’s people, in numerous ways. Mother Nature gets upset quite a bit and lashes out her powerful force here on earth. I respect her lovely heavy hand, and I appreciate her need to re-calibrate the environment and its massive intake of unnecessary uses.

But, you are different, Boulder.

What I experienced while living with you, Boulder, was how much the people have big consideration, respect and admiration for the community spirit, the schools, the open spaces, the wildlife and the people. You keep each other uplifted in times of drama and crisis.  From yearly fires, droughts, and now this….the 100-year flood.

I have no doubt there is a fear looming with the knowledge on how long it will take to heal.

It involves stages of grief, anger, resentment and forgiveness. I feel you have the capacity to recover from this tragedy—I just know it.

My heart is full of love for all my friends and soul family who reside with you. There is warmth, compassion, kindness, and incredible support coming in from all across the country and government.

We are with you, wholeheartedly.

I’m currently an outsider looking in. I see. I feel. I respect. I admire. I grieve with you.

I send so much love to you, Boulder. You gave me much love in return, years ago. I am always thankful to have called you home; what a magnificent place you are. You will come back…you always do.

The community is a strong network of people—thank you for allowing me to share my spirit with you.

No amount of words can ever replace being there in person. But, this is all I got right now….I wish you the best and the brightest for many days to come….


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Ed: Bryonie Wise


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