FIRE IN COLORADO, WINDS IN MARYLAND: WE ARE “DOUBLE REFUGEES”

Hello from Richard, Rosemary’s husband. Most of you know that Rosemary and I are business partners; I do much of the “back office” work while Rosemary is the voice of our company “A New Alliance for Change.” Occasionally, in the time of crisis and chaos, the “back office” needs to speak too. Here is my update and perspective on the fires and winds of change:

Rosemary wrote eloquently of the Waldo Canyon Wildfire in Colorado Springs, which destroyed nearly 350 homes in the neighborhood of our house there in the community called Mountain Shadows, in her Friday post here on this blog. Today here is my update on that disaster: while many of our neighbors are now homeless, our next door neighbor and a good friend went into our house Sunday and found everything in good order. Even the odor was more of staleness than smoke! While we were away from that home, residing temporarily in Maryland with our daughter, our neighbors lost their homes and our neighborhood was damaged beyond recognition. The mountainside views turned from their light green of mid-summer to a dead and blackened shadow of themselves – now truly Mountain Shadows!

The community remains evacuated for at least several more days if not weeks as it is made safe for residents who still have homes to return. When allowed we will return to help neighbors pick up the pieces, and see if we can offer our home to others while we continue our slow migration eastward. The 350 homeless families will need much support over the coming months!

Meanwhile back in Maryland and our first temporary home an unusual storm struck Friday night, a storm called a derecho. It is a fast moving type of thunderstorm with extraordinarily strong winds; it knocked out power in the DC/Maryland area for 1.2 million customers. Across Annapolis thousands of homes and businesses were affected. Our daughter’s home, and our home away from our Colorado home remains without power as I write this on Monday. Since our business depends on all the latest in network and communications technology we are severely disabled when the power goes out!  Fortunately our friend on the other side of town continued to have electricity. She invited us to stay with her and I write at this moment from her deck. We have found our second refuge from the fires and winds of our lives!

We are truly blessed. And I don’t mean to imply we are in any way real refugees who are truly suffering across this world from human exploitation, natural disasters, global warming, war, hatred, and that completely unnatural notion of our separation from nature and one another. Yes, we are dealing with some chaos, uncertainty, upheaval and displacement. These are relative irritants. We will certainly come out OK. And as Rosemary’s parents taught her and she taught me: “Everything always works out for the best.” Often it takes time and patience to realize what that “best” is; but faith is knowing it’s coming!

I am reminded of a Zen story of a farmer-monk who awoke to his barn filled with the fall harvest burning to the ground. After a single cry of anguish and then a breath he responded: “Now I’ll have a much better view of the moon.”

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