I am an Alaskan Grown transplant to Colorado. My parents moved to the Rocky Mountains, west of Colorado Springs and I was lucky enough to be able to work full time and spend a few years soaking up the beauty of the place. Compared to where I grew up, it was like a whole new world, but it worked its way into my heart and I think I might have been able to live there forever. When I married my sweetheart, I left it gladly for a new life together with him. I don’t regret moving away, or all the adventures we’ve had that have brought us to our current stopping place here in Tennessee. But I left a piece of my heart in Colorado. Not just because that’s where my parents still live, but because in a lot of ways, Colorado was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I fell in love in Colorado, and I said “yes” to my man in a beautiful gazebo in Manitou Springs.
This Wednesday I opened my browser and saw a picture that gave me the feeling of being kicked in the stomach. For a little moment, I felt like I couldn’t breathe because what I was seeing was a piece of the places I knew going up into flames.
Ever since then, the one thing on my mind has been this City that claims a part of my past and a few of my best memories; my constant prayer is for Colorado. For the people who had to stand by and watch their life destroyed by the fire.
It isn’t that this is the biggest or most tragic fire in the history of our nation. It is just that it is another fire that comes rather close to “home”.
For the few hours that I couldn’t reach my parents, at home or on their cell, and the conflicting reports that kept floating in about the exact direction and location of the fire, I kept thinking about what a fire burns and what matters.
Trees can grow back, perhaps. Homes and things may be able to be replaced one day. But it is the people we love that I want to be safe most of all.
My parents are okay. Thankfully for them, this fire has stranded them in town but hasn’t reached their little home back farther into the mountains.
But for the 350 families who don’t have a home to go to anymore, for the 1000 or more firefighters and rescue workers who are out there in the heat of it all, for everyone affected in my old state, I am praying for rain, for restoration and for strength to pick up the pieces and to build again.
these images taken for local colorado newspapers