It’s hard to talk about Colorado Rockies baseball when your home state is burning.
It’s hard to think about the offseason and what it might hold when you constantly see smoke in the air and the glow from the fires in the distance at night. It’s hard to talk WAR when you know people are losing their homes and our state is being changed in unfathomable ways right now. It’s hard to be able to focus on who’s going to man first base for the Colorado Rockies in 2021 when you know the residents of Estes Park, Grand Lake, and so many other towns in our great state have been evacuated because of dangerous fires bearing down on them and their property.
Sometimes, baseball takes a back seat to real life. This is one of those times.
Two weeks ago, my wife and I drove from Longmont to Estes Park, about 30 minutes or so away, for our annual pilgrimage to be a part of “the rut experience.” It’s not only a good excuse to get to Estes, but also to get back out into nature. Estes Park, we always joke, is our backyard playground. We’ve taken family and friends there so often it’s hard to count.
My heart sank when I saw this.
🔥🔥🔥Around 3pm today in Estes Park. Evacuations in progress:🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/Pw8RaeGmqk
— Eric English (@EricEnglish777) October 22, 2020
I know Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake, and so many other places hold memories to so many of us. I know people have been through this already so many times in California, Oregon, Washington, and, yes, parts of Colorado. I also know Lyons and so many other Colorado cities have bounced back from floods and other natural disasters.
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We’ve lived through those, but I don’t know that they’ve impacted all of us the way that this fire season has. Maybe it’s the 24-hour news cycle and all of the photos circulating on social media. Maybe it’s that we know that these our neighbors and fellow Coloradans who have been affected for weeks by fires.
We all have grieved over something in 2020. Some of us have seen graduations, proms, weddings, and family events postponed. Some of us haven’t been able to attend the funerals of family members. Some of us haven’t been able to say hello to the next generation of our family or goodbye to our loved ones before they left us.
This year has been hard, and it has nothing to do with not being able to be at Coors Field. It has to do with all of us adapting to life during a pandemic … and now a historic fire season.
What can we do? Donate to those who need it. Help those who need it. Pray for those who need it. Manifest that that snowfall comes in this weekend in a big way (the forecast is carrying such promise). More than anything, be kind to each other. We have no idea the burden the other person is carrying, whether you see them in real life or behind a Twitter handle.
The Colorado Rockies on my mind today have nothing to do with Arenado or Story or Freeland. They have everything to do with the great mountain towns and how they’re being affected … and the heroes who are trying to save them.