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May 11

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Absence of Fear: Facing Seemingly Unending Rain

 

St Vrain flooded

I feel like the weather gods have abandoned me.

I watch the sky spit out rain, tornadoes descending next to my rivers… flood warnings, lighting cracking the sky, and the signups for my canoe trips remain empty. For good reason. It has been raining for the last month. Who wants to be on the water in forty-something degree temperatures in a downpour?

I finally broke down in sobs tonight. I have attempted to maintain my optimism and it all fell apart tonight. I fell apart.

I went on a very nice solo hike last week that was supposed to feed my soul and bring me back to my center. It did. Until it started raining….and raining… and raining… It wasn’t in the forecast. The weight of the mud caking over an inch deep on the bottoms of my shoes made walking back early impossible. I returned to the trailhead, soaking wet and covered in mud, wind howling, only to find a crowd of 50 or more college students howling around a bonfire in the rain. I decided to leave.driving

The road was as slick as any I have ever seen. I slid sideways, one way and then the other, running at only 5 miles an hour, taking almost 2 hours to return to the pavement. I arrive at the motel, grateful to be alive, and I discover my seventh flat tire in the last 2 1/2 years. Who in the hell gets 7 flats in less than 3 years? This woman right here.

It’s a wonder I didn’t lose my composure that night. I just fell onto the bed, exhausted, and descended into a deep, dreamless sleep.

How do I return to the joy of last year? Last summer was the best of my life. The weather was so perfect that I told everyone that the weather gods and I had an agreement. That agreement held up in over 90 days on the river- not a single thunderstorm or windy day in the entire season. How does that happen? It didn’t feel random. It was too perfect. I said “someday, I know my luck will run out but for now I’m going to enjoy every moment of this perfect summer”…. My luck has run out.

I don’t control the weather.

rainbow

All I can do is accept where I am. All I can do is trust. I have been very good at trusting the process, even with fear popping into my consciousness when I hit a bump in the road. Or a slick, muddy mess. I was afraid, but I knew I would be fine. Even while I was afraid of sliding into a ditch, I knew that I would be fine. Even as I spent 4 hours in Rocky Ford, Colorado, getting my tire replaced and grumbling at the repeat of events, I knew I would be fine. Even as I obsessively watch the rivers rise to a flood not so different than the beginnings of the millennial flood that sits in my state’s collective conscious, I know that I’m going to be okay. I know that our state is going to be okay. I know that what we all are feeling is a sort of collective PTSD…. The rivers will resume normal flows. It won’t rain all the time. This storm, too, shall pass.

The next chapter is around the bend and I cannot know what is there. There’s something freeing in that. I can create the framework but I can’t control the weather. I can set my vision and know I will reach it, remembering that how the vision is realized is something that I just need to trust. I live with a huge amount of faith. Time and again, I have seen my life work out – more perfectly than I could create – with a perfect synchronicity that always seems to arise when I need it most.

This storm, too, shall pass.

dinosaur

Permanent link to this article: http://www.theriverspath.org/absence-of-fear/