I created this blog the last days of September, 2013. I needed to process the flood disaster that hit my town, to try to make sense of something that makes no sense.
Background Illustrations provided by: http://edison.rutgers.edu/

Goodbye Greta

My step-grandma died 2 days ago. For the past week and now, every day during meditation I wish her happiness and peace in her next life. And I imagine us holding hands when I was really young as we walked around her and Grandpa’s farm house, our yearly visits to the doll museum, sitting in the meadow underneath the house by the stream having a picnic, eating recently-thawed peaches that she took out of the freezer especially for me during my visits, her puttering around the kitchen, the garden, and the compost bin (my 1st experience with compost), playing Scrabble with her and Grandpa by the fire in the living room while it snowed outside, assembling huge puzzles, her tucking me in at bedtime. And more recently, calling her for my brother’s favorite apple sauce recipe. She was newly engaged (Grandpa died years ago). I didn’t know because I hadn’t talked with her for a year. With love, to Greta.

http://lizzy-scully.tumblr.com/ Hosted by Oskar Blues Brewery: I am organizing a fundraiser for the Town of Lyons Colorado trails & parks, which were completely destroyed during the flood. We have postponed the event to Saturday, March 22. I’ll be doing a brief multi-media show on alpine rock climbing in Greenland, which will be followed by a Boulder Mountainbike Alliance freeride film, & another to-be-announced short film. Plus, the awesome dance band Meniskus will be closing out the night. Get ready for a sweet evening out in Lyons.

We also will have an auction with gear provided by Petzl, Metolius Climbing, GORE-TEX Products North America, Mountain Hardwear, Evolv, & many more awesome outdoor industry businesses. Thanks for all your support!
— with Quinn Brett and John Dickey in Greenland.

Happy New Year! Reflections on sadness, love, & community

Today I am grateful for the New Year. I feel better. I feel fresh, like my community and I have a whole new year to explore options for rebuilding our town; like we have another year of further growing friendships that were planted as seeds in the mud that filled Lyons in September. I am excited. And I am sad. I have been sad since the floods hit. Most people don’t understand how I feel; my family and my friends (even as close as boulder) don’t get why I don’t want to leave Lyons. And I don’t expect them to understand. It is enough that they have come to visit me, that they love me. And, please know loved ones, it is OK that I am sad. Thank you for wanting my sadness to go away; but it likely won’t for awhile. And that is OK. There is richness in feeling the full spectrum of emotions. I appreciate and welcome that into my life.

Plus, it is not just my sadness; it belongs to all the community of Lyons. I share this deep sense of loneliness with so many people here. “It doesn’t matter if ten people are around,” my friend said to me the other day. “I still feel lonely.” He cried when he read the flood book his mom gave him for Christmas. I have shared so many hugs and tears with people. And it has been a really beautiful thing. I wouldn’t change my experiences these last few months because I feel more open, loved, and a part of a community than I ever have before. It’s magical, and I am grateful for it. The only thing I hope for is that all the people who want to be in Lyons can come back.

My bud Marc and I explored the “new” South St. Vrain Canyon. We found washed out trails, landslides, and a totally scoured, wide & deep riverbed, but mostly untouched granite crags high above. Check out this sick, steep granite aid line (last pic in the series). It looks like it would go free, and I’m surprised no one has ever tried it as it’s pretty aesthetic. But, no one ever goes into the #SSV. We were probably the only climbers in the canyon on Sunday. #ILoveLyons

My deep sadness is reflected in the eyes of Lyons residents, in the crushed bits of rear view mirrors in the car/truck graveyard on Apple Valley Road, and in the voice of my friend, Brenna, who I spoke with today. She shared her losses… maybe they won’t be able to move back home until spring. Their house was by the river.

But, good days arrive just as fast as residents returning to Town. The Lyons Fork opening soon, the Lyons Homecoming Fundraiser bringing $40,000 to town and a lot of joyful community members together, grants to rebuild town written and out the door. Joy fell from the sky and blanketed Lyons in white, and joy shines through colorful leaves that are still falling. Oh yea, and I’ve found some sweet little bits of joy in discovering new bouldering areas around town :)

Life is equal parts joy and sadness, and I appreciate and am diving into both. I’m learning that maybe they are actually one and the same.

Please Don’t Forget… Please don’t forget Lyons, Left Hand, Glen Haven, Jamestown… It’s business as usual everywhere else. I’m not sure most people really understand how hard these sweet mountain towns were hit. We’re not in the news anymore. I spoke with some family members last week, and they didn’t realize that Lyons is still a wreck, that it will take years of rebuilding before it even approaches what it once was (though I believe it will rebuild even better!) There is a collective sadness & confusion shared in the Lyons community. Our pain is very much alive—every time we walk through town and see another house torn in half and junkyards of cars and propane tanks; every time we cry with friends who have lost everything; every time we drive through Main Street and see only two shops open. Some of our restaurants won’t open again; some of our people won’t come back. The Montessori school closed, the owner gone; the Gear Shop shut down, and the Apothecary. The Lyons Fork not open until spring. So many friends asking, “Have you heard of any places for rent? I want to come home.” Please don’t forget us. We need you more than ever now. And we so appreciate you—the volunteers, the people who donate money and who attend our fundraisers. Thank you so much. I am deeply grateful. We are deeply grateful. Please visit: http://www.lyonsfightsback.org/

I feel better when I’m working, when I’m shoveling dirt along with amazing people who don’t think twice about helping the folks of Lyons. People are kind. People are cool. I am so grateful every day. Today was the best day I’ve had in months. I felt happy. I worked alongside dozens of volunteers at #PlanetBluegrass. I bought coffee at the #StoneCup. I ate chicken soup with veggies with many friends on my front porch. I played my mandolin. I tried to sing, but my voice is hoarse. I sang anyway. And I cried. And I laughed. And then I watched 1000 people walk around Lyons, dressed in the best Halloween costumes I have ever seen. I’m so psyched to see my friends and neighbors coming home, shops opening, lights turning on. #LyonsStrong #ILoveLyons

A perfect fall day is one with two handfuls of raspberries picked off the vine, clean laundry hanging in the backyard, a swept house and washed bathroom, dishes left for tomorrow, a huge pot of chicken soup steaming up the kitchen, a long, gentle bike ride through Lyons, and a rest on a sandstone outcropping overlooking Cottonwood trees that shimmer as late afternoon sun shines on their autumn gold leaves. I am grateful.

I’ve felt confused since the floods, unsure about everything but unable to pinpoint anything in particular. I feel sadness, but I’m also grateful for my community. I feel numb sometimes, but less so than I did immediately after the flood. I’m still not used to the destruction that is Lyons, Colorado. I’m still not used to the cobble stones and waves of mud that are everywhere, the fact that there are very few kiddos in a town where 25% of the population is 18 or under. Every day that I explore I find some other place where the floods wrecked a home, a business, a road, a tree… Just a few days ago I spent a few hours cleaning trees at Planet Bluegrass, which is where this poem originated. Somehow volunteering and also expressing myself through words and photos is helping me heal. I hope it helps others as well. Time to go back to sleep. 4:30a.m. With love to my community.