It was also the first time I’ve felt terror since the fires started.
The weather was the same the day the inferno came….it will be the same today.
I’m already nervous.
The fires are mostly out now, the burn scars on the land and in our souls will remain for some time…maybe forever.
I did not not feel any terror the night we evacuated…we fled north from where we lived and soon realized there was fire coming from both the front and the rear.
I remember having a hard time processing what I was seeing…a hellscape of smoke and ash and fire that looked like a big screen disaster production.
These things happen to other people in other places and we watch them on tv like some “reality” show, we never expect to participate ourselves.
The strange part was I knew that this was the proper time to panic, but I only felt peace…I gave thanks knowing that when the time was right the peace would pass and I would have to deal with what was transpiring.
I was storing up a list of things to work through later that were impacting me now, but it would be dangerous to let have place at the time.
The fear on peoples faces not knowing if their homes were spared, the grief of those who already knew, the exhausted ones sleeping in their cars with kids and pets and hope…the merchants who opened their businesses and hearts…it all was emotionally overwhelming.
After I got home it was the text messages…”half the kids in the school district are homeless”…”there’s forty cats huddled in a space in the burned out trailer park”…”have you seen my pet?’…
The grifter asking for money outside WalMart…two weeks ago he was a “homeless vet”, now he’s “lost everything in the fire”…it should make me angry, but grifters have to grift…
I made it through it all without cracking…even through the sight yesterday of a family in protective gear praying together before sifting through the ashes of their home.
I admitted to myself this morning that we’re missing some strays…but I’m afraid if I call their names I’ll have to recognize they’re really gone.
I look for them in silence.
Pray for bad weather…I’m not ready for anything but rain…not yet…