After the Flood

There are now mornings I have awoken without the smell of mildew on the back of my dreams. The fans have stopped their buzz and the gutter mud has settled into dry, frozen waves. My sinuses have fallen back into invisibility. There are moments when life feels normal again. Or perhaps I have gotten used to a new normal. Many of us have.


My new normal is cleaner—simpler; it has to be. There is no longer the luxury of leaving clothes on the floor. Of taking a home—a car—a healthy body, for granted. Of forgetting to count the blessings around me.

Water washed out the path between summer and fall. As though crisp air and dark nights and pumpkin lattes sprouted from summer grass like flood-quenched mushrooms. Here I am in October, wondering how I got here.

But I’m glad I’m here, in this October unlike any other.

Some of us are continuing our path as normal—those leaves that yellowed in the usual September cycles. Others of us are stunted, grasping to green. A few of us fell with damaged branches, crashing abruptly into rivers that weren’t supposed to be there—now left thirsty and disoriented and alone. And many of us are bigger and cleaner and more vibrant than we have ever been, our roots having absorbed the abundantly saturated soil, filth and all. And we sway like trees twice our age, paradoxically angry and grateful, weighted and flexible, grieving and inspired.

Most of us are all of these—and integration of our September’s sun and debris. And here in Boulder, life will go on.


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Rachael Uris, MA, LPC is the owner of Atacama Counseling, LLC, offering sex therapy as well as individual and couple's counseling for issues surrounding sexuality, love, and pregnancy. All services are located in downtown Boulder, Colorado, and are provided in English and Spanish.
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