The Mountain-Ear is located at:
20 E. Lakeview Drive, Unit 109 (inside Brightwood Music).
Our mailing address is PO Box 99, Nederland, CO 80466.

Phone: (303) 810-5409

Make 2022 a Year of Kindness and CompassionFree Access

Photo of the house we lived in, in Louisville

Photo of the house we lived in, in Louisville

“The world is violent and mercurial-it will have its way with you. We are saved only by love-love we have for each other and the love that we pour into the art we feel compelled to share.” -Tennessee Williams

For fifteen years from 1995 until 2010, our family lived in Louisville, Colorado. Our children spent their formative years in this idyllic community, living close enough to the schools, the library, and recreation center that they could safely walk or ride their bikes on the interconnected trail systems. Our dearly departed twin girls are buried in the local cemetery.

Since moving to the Wondervu area in Coal Creek Canyon in the spring of 2010, we’ve stayed connected with many of our Louisville friends and neighbors and I’m currently working part-time for the City in Special Projects.

My heart grew heavy last week as the story of the fires in Boulder County continued to unfold and the powerful winds caused unthinkable destruction quickly. It soon became clear that hundreds of people, including many of my Louisville co-workers, had lost their homes and contents along with vehicles and other possessions. Recently exchanged holiday presents, digital devices, family photos and heirlooms, furniture and more, all gone in a blink of an eye. Almost 1,000 homes and businesses destroyed, and hundreds damaged.

All this devastation and destruction during a pandemic that refuses to loosen its grip.

How do we manage to get through the day while dealing with so much sorrow and loss?

By tapping into our humanity and compassion and acting with kindness, we string together divine moments as we remember who we are and recognize our inter-connectedness to the planet and all beings.

Showing gratitude to the heroic first responders-some who were protecting other people’s properties while their own homes were in the path of the fire-is a great first step to shifting your perspective. Being a witness to the collective response by first responders who came from all over the region to assist during this disaster, leaving their loved ones amidst the holiday season. They sacrificed their own warmth and comfort and put their safety and welfare on the line for the greater good. This is an example of radical empathy and aggressive kindness.

You can join the countless fiercely generous people and businesses providing housing, clothing, food, and other support to those displaced by the fire. The biggest need is housing, and the Boulder Office of Emergency Management has indicated that people who can offer shelter to displaced residents should sign up online to be a vetted host through the Airbnb Open Homes Program. The program will contact people if needed. You can also donate to the Boulder Community Foundation fund set up to assist those impacted. Donations can be made online at grants/get-grant/Boulder-County- Wildfire-Fund.

One of the people impacted by the fires was overwhelmed by the amount of kindness and support flowing to him and his neighbors and he remarked that “he didn’t know how much people cared.” This is one of the gifts of a disaster, as people pull together to help one another regardless of political affiliation, race, religion, age, gender, or socioeconomic background, to collectively care for one another which reminds us of our humanity and our boundless capacity for compassion.

What can you do every day to build on this culture of kindness, even when we’re not in the middle of a pandemic or natural disaster?

Seek the good in others and yourself.

Forgive others and yourself.

Follow the golden rule and treat others the way you want to be treated.

Assume positive intent, especially by those people who see things very differently than you.

Be still.

Listen more and when you speak, use your words impeccably.

Practice gratitude every day.

Spend time outdoors.

Share a smile with those you pass on the street.

Breathe deeply.

Create a piece of art that honors the beauty and love around us.

Follow your heart for that is where the answers to most of your questions can be found.

As stated in The Alchemist, written by Paulo Coelho, “You will never be able to escape from your heart, so it is better to listen to what it has to say.”