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Nature always wins. I remember reading the disaster books in the library when I was young. There was a whole series discussing the various natural disasters. Fire and flood always fascinated me.  I remember reading stories about the Big Thompson Flood of 1976, a flash flood that killed 144 people. I spent a month scared to death of flash floods. Forest fires were always a concern growing up. You live out west and you learn that fire is a tool to be respected, because it can cause major damage. In 1988, Yellowstone National Park burned. The smoke carried all the way down south to Colorado. You could smell the fire for hundreds of miles. I was a sobering reminder of Smokey the Bear’s words. “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires.”

You learn early out West that nature can seriously kick your tail. You learn to watch for possible flash floods when out hiking. In Colorado if you don’t like the weather, you wait five minutes and it changes. You learn that lightning can start fires. You learn to respect your environment or it’s going to make you respect it.

For the last two years, fires have burned major chunks of the area I used to call home. Last night, one of the worst flash floods in the last 50 years ripped through Manitou Springs, destroying businesses, cars, and killing several people. Nature spoke.

The question is, what do you do after something like this? What do you do when powers that are greater than you rip up your life and throw it up for grabs? What do you do when you have nothing left?

You do what nature does. You start again. You build again, and build better, build smarter. You take the lessons you’ve been given and incorporate them into your life. You move forward, while not forgetting what happened behind you.

You live. Because the fire and rain cleaned things out, things you may not have realized you needed to lose. You live because you can.