Dirty bumper sticker reading "Lyons, CO. We've got GRIT"

For the LOVE of our Future

Today, I saw buds on the tips of the trees near the hives on Highway 7. Hawks and Ravens circling and singing as this warm day thawed some of the river ice allowing the St. Vrain to feel the sunshine upon its waters. Videos of local bobcats and mountain lions remind us we are living among the wild in this Lyons land we call home. We are blessed to be fed by the music that fills many homes and halls in this town. A place where our librarians and postmasters know if we have overdue fines or packages by seeing our faces. Open space surrounding our neighborhoods like a thick quilt border to keep us humble and held with Integrity. Music and dance classes that nurture the young members of this community as they navigate being in their bodies and developing minds in this world. Restaurants that feed our town with devotion and healthy foods. These streets and these schools offer our children havens, where they feel safe within a community that takes part in raising them here, by choice. Local efforts to shift our standards toward a more sustainable environmental future by reducing waste as well as omitting pesticide use in our local parks. “Lyons Has Grit” has been one of my favorite universal slogans. It gives me such pride knowing how that phrase can reach into the corners of the Town Hall, and stretch through Lyons Elementary as well as LEAF, and around the Labyrinth, cemetery, and over into the middle/senior high. The Grit is part of our legacy we are weaving. It is the history we are writing for our future. As We considering these tasks, I am so grateful we have the river to teach us the power we have as a force of nature. Together, we can create gritty change.

We are the undertakers.


Praise the soft snow
Praise the company
Praise global connection,
And the chance to know thee
Praise the tension
Praise the release
Praise the lessons and the reach
Praise the courage to find the truth
Praise the breath that sends it through
Praise the ones who hold us tight
Praise the wrongs growing right
Praise the Heart Wounded Healing
Praise the dawn and the feelings
And the quiet lifting of the spirit
Dusting off our wings to clear it.
Praise the incense and the sky
Welcoming the smoke to rise
Praise the doing that comes undone
Praise the howl
Praise the song
The silent strife of mama weeps
The unwell child fighting sleep
The liminal world of fractured thoughts.
Feeling anxious, crazy like bone sucking broth.
Praise the forgivers and the forgiven
Praise the souls we are trying to live in.
Praise the buds holding on until Spring
Beneath the frost blanketing every thing.
Praise the loaf of homemade bread
Slowly Rising from the dead.
Praise the butter churned to mold,
Praise the animals’ liquid gold.
Praise the dying and the youth.
Praise the in-between ones finding True North.
And those who tended and came before.
Praise the loud, praise the weary.
Praise the homeless and the privileged and those who see clearly.
Praise the ears to hear the needs.
Praise the hands to serve the feast.
Praise clean water
Praise Peace.
Praise the protectors, praise the beasts,
Praise the keepers and the savers
The light that takes over the haters
Praise our ancestors who willed us tasks to not endanger our spiritual paths.
Praise the gentle steps we take
Praise the magic and medicine we make.
Praise the wishes and the dreamers. Praise knowing or not.
The answers.
Praise the creatures, praise the departed, praise the Earth to house our process.
Praise reciprocity and respect, praise abundance and neglect.
Praise humility, praise the tea, praise the wounded
And the Free.
Praise the history. Both made and in the making.
Praise this holy undertaking.
Praise the parents, and the teachers. Raising the future of hopeful receivers.
Praise the patterns and habits worth breaking.
Praise the work involved in trying.
Praise the witches, praise the children, praise the space and the holders.
praise the artists and the elders.
Praise the praise, you undertakers.

One of the most brilliant parts about writing for Lyons Living, is the ability to share links! This movie literally moved me to tears and laughter all at once. It was a breath of fresh air and a sucker punch, a tender lifeline toward humanity. Please, y’all. Watch this film and consider it a Valentine from me to you:

I have the honor of adding a spoken word poem from a local member of our community, Kristen Quinn. Kristen gave me permission to share her piece after I realized it struck many chords as it became shared like wildfire. As I continue to try to move forward with hopeful visions and a handful of Grit toward our future, I can’t help but carry the weight of this culture. Kristen shares in such a candid and innocent way what her experience has been like preparing for school in this new world and ways of lockdown drills. This is a bit of Pandora’s Box that needs to be aired out and discussed. I’m deeply grateful for her courage to speak to this elephant not easily swept under the rug, and your willingness to consider this delicate reality.

Back to School: The Most Exciting Time of Year

By Kristen Quinn (age 15)

Back to school: the most exciting time of year, Begins with a stampede to the stores for Essential supplies.

Pairs of scissors,
And Flash cards to memorize.
A midday snack,
Binders, and
Multi-colored Bullet-proof backpacks.
Back to school: the most anticipated time of year.

Then on that first thrilling day,
Lunches are neatly packed.
Bowls filled with cereal:
Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.
Moms are adorned with pleasant smiles plucked from corny commercials And Send kids off with a gallant wave.

Have the perfect first day!
Be kind,
Please Get home safe.
Please just get home.
Back to school: the proudest time of year.

The newly added posters and banners exclaim slews of positivity: Feed your brain and read a book!
Let your mind bloom!
You are capable of more than you know!

This is a safe zone.
Just ignore the armed cop in the corner
And the worry leaking into your head
Like the grim reaper from the ground.
Back to school: the most motivational time of year

School offers the necessary principles that are:
Solving equations,

Finding alliteration,
But No no no no-Not gun regulation.
Back to school: the most academic time of year.

No one needs common sense and background checks
When our schools have
locking doors and
Hallways that curve like the macaroni necklaces we made in preschool to “make things harder for active shooters” and
chairs for throwing and
big large desks and
You’re infringing on my rights! and
Bathroom stalls and
It would never happen here! and
coat cubbies and
libraries and
Running and
Hiding and
Hoping and
pleading and
Crying and
Please don’t shoot please don’t-
Back to school: the most horrific time of year.

The Time to apply a fresh coat of thoughts and prayers to the newest tragedy.
To put the writings of a 2nd amendment established in a time when slavery and white imperialism prospered,

before kids
Because it’s easier to make poor mental health and bullying the root of the problem when the seed is America itself.
But that Is a weed too hard to pull-

So we
go Back to school.

Thank you Kristen. Your voice is a strong one. May it bring awareness and inspire others to use theirs as well.

In 2015, we had an incredible turnout to watch this film together as a community. It was shown at what is now, The Lyon’s Den. Suffragette is a reminder of what it has taken for many of us to earn the right to vote. There are current opportunities as well as those in our near future to create the story and weave the way we so desire. Please join me in expressing our voices through change. Whether singing, art, writing, baking, athletics, marching, campaigning, etc…is your thing, Do it! Please, we need change makers more than ever. What better time to begin, than now? Looking forward to walking beside you on this gritty path.