As many of you are aware, the last days of 2021 brought a wildfire to Boulder County, Colorado, that appears to be on track as one of the most destructive in the history of our state.
The fire began around noon December 30th, 2021 and quickly destroyed over 1,000 homes in the towns of Superior, Louisville and unincorporated Boulder County. My family was evacuated from Louisville, while Trish’s family watched the flames from their driveway in Eldorado Springs. Healers from as far away as Vermont held space as the fire tore through our communities on 100 mph winds.
Both of our homes are still standing. It’s been three weeks, and just this morning I learned of another in a series of friends and acquaintances who have lost everything. As the weeks unfold, I’m powerfully reminded every day of who we really are as a species as I watch community members reach out to the displaced:
Our local Facebook page has featured a steady stream of posts offering support to anyone who has been impacted by the disaster. You can find free new and used clothing in many different locations. Private individuals and restaurants are cooking for anyone in need. Folks are collecting and delivering games, toys, laundry detergent, meals, clothes hangers, storage containers and more, to the hundreds of displaced families living in hotels and AirBnbs. Jewelers volunteer to clean burned jewelry and silver free of charge and a young girl has been gathering what looks like hundreds of stuffed animals to distribute to anyone that lost a plush friend in the fire.
Church and community groups from all over the country are here helping people sift through the rubble of their homes, searching for valuables. A group that sprang up from Hurricane Katrina is here, volunteering for anything and everything, fresh from their last assignment in Mayfield, Kentucky.
Our local coffee shop covered all drinks of any kind, for all customers, for two weeks following the fire. Bodyworkers are offering free treatments to the displaced and first responders. Volunteers are still out looking for missing pets; others are walking door to door asking, what do you need? Private citizens are offering their trailers, dumpsters, tools and trucks. They’re offering their time. Last week I noticed a woman offering to take some of her houseplants to people living in temporary housing!
Just when I think the support is waning, I see someone else reaching out. On that note, I want to thank those of you that kept so many of us grounded and energetically supported during the fire. We are a community of healers and I know many of you have been and continue to quietly hold space for people, animals and the land; it is deeply appreciated.
I’m witnessing that events like this one bring out humanity’s instinctual desire to care for another. I’m inspired, watching more and more people wake up to that instinct in these very interesting times! I feel certain that one day soon, we as a species will reach a tipping point where we will realize love, compassion and regard for the other as the norm. It’s very exciting!
Katie Heldman and Trish Laham