I bumped into a fellow flood-refugee at our adopted “local” coffee shop yesterday. She said she’s been thinking of us and the Surrender card which we have shared widely as one of the deck’s premier images. For her, the card recalls the St. Vrain River that defines the beauty and character of our town. For me, it evokes the collective, FULL surrender that the river has brought upon our community.
Exactly a year and a half after we started this blog (to the day), the river that has caught my tears, healed my wounds, served as my muse, and delighted my extended Lyons family was asked to hold more than she could bear along her typically gentle, meandering course. She unleashed her full power, reclaiming lands that had once been hers—canyons she carved, plains she smoothed, and lush valleys she blessed. My memory of how our beloved land has been shaped was clouded by human shortsightedness until I awoke to the sound of flashflood sirens in the night and the sight of waters rushing through local streets as day revealed a changed landscape.
My personal experience of the flood is just one of thousands upon millions of stories from this recent natural disaster and from all of human history alongside the forces of mother nature. As a mother, I have witnessed how vital community is for the survival of individuals and families. I have felt the fear of impending danger and the bliss of infinite gratitude. I have seen my worst side surface through waves of shock and stress, and felt empathy for mothers everywhere who muster strength and grace in the face of ongoing hardship beyond what I can even imagine. I have watched my high ideals wash away as our children run feral, fending for themselves as devoted parents shovel shit. I have renewed my faith in the essential generosity and goodness of people big and small. And, I have rediscovered my solid ground and expansive heart through layers of newly deposited mud.
Like the river, my typically gentle, meandering course cannot contain all that I have been asked to hold. I can only hope that my full power will arise in chorus with River’s timeless song of movement and change. The potential for creation in the wake of destruction feels palpable but still slightly out of my reach. For now, my work is to fully surrender to the unknown even as I rise to greet the call of transformation. As a wise women in town said, “Now the river not only runs through my home; it runs through my heart.”
Thank you all for your kind gestures of love and support. Elizabeth and I are both grateful to have dry homes to which we will return one day. Jenny has been an angel of generosity from her home in New Mexico (be sure to check out her new project Chai Pilgrimage). We all took some time off this summer to be with our families and were just returning to blog as the school year got underway. These plans have now taken another course as our energy moves to meet new challenges and creative endeavors. As we part ways, we offer you our blessings on this exquisite path of motherhood. May you love, may you grow, may you laugh, and may you fully surrender.
‘The Mamas’ ~ Niki, Jenny, and Elizabeth
‘The Muses’ after a day by the river before the flood ~ Tulsi, Jordan, Oriah, Afton, and Haven