Last year, the Waldo Canyon Fire closed the Garden of the Gods, burnt the Flying W to the ground and destroyed 346 homes in Colorado Springs. On the anniversary this year, fires again rage, this time in Black Forest. The numbers from last year have been passed, and firefighters, soldiers and pilots still fight the flames while residents are evacuated and animals are cared for by the kindness of strangers throughout the county. Canon City and The Royal Gorge south of us also fight fires.
June 11 was the 5th anniversary of the tornado that ripped through Chapman, Kansas and destroyed much of the town. Our daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren live in Chapman, and their 1893 house took a beating. Our granddaughter had been excited about starting 1st grade, but all three of the consolidated schools were gone.
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross said: “The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.”
She describes what we’ve witnessed first hand, during the fires of Colorado, after the tornado in Kansas, and according to others’ observations in Oklahoma and throughout the country. Natural disasters and man-made tragedies cause horrific losses to property, life, health and hope. And yet, those who survive these disasters keep moving, one step at a time, and often emerge stronger, kinder, more grateful and hopeful than ever.
Eleanor Roosevelt said: “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
And from J.R.R. Tolkien’s FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, we take hope for what will eventually follow:
All that is gold does not glitter, / Not all those who wander are lost; /
The old that is strong does not wither, / Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken, / A light from the shadows shall spring; /
Renewed shall be blade that was broken, / The crownless again shall be king.