We had an uncomfortably close wild fire in our area last week (it was fifteen percent contained as of last Friday). We came home from taking a friend to the airport and saw smoke tracking across the sky directly toward us. (Our friend saw the fire as her plane lifted off.)
High winds and dry air ramped it up quickly and soon the smoke turned the outside light an eerie yellow. The sense of…something not right. It brought back memories of standing outside our house when a hurricane incoming. It reminded me of feeling as if Mother Nature was trying to tell me something.
In my years living along the Gulf Coast, I’ve thought a lot about those times before satellites and almost instant communication—when all people had were their instincts and prior experience to warn of danger.
I’d read about “the hair lifting on the back of the neck” in books but hadn’t felt that until I stood directly in the path of an incoming hurricane. I’ve felt uneasy at times but never that “Danger, Will Robinson” feeling.
Both times I’ve been gripped by the dual emotions of flight and the desire to stand my ground for home and hearth. In the case of “our” hurricane, Ike, we’d been advised by local authorities to shelter in place. We came through it fine — obviously — but it was not something I’d like to do again.
With a wild fire—well, I know some of the ranchers up the South Fork spent the night watering down their most important structures. Some buildings were lost. As of this writing, no lives were lost. This fire is one of many currently burning in the parched West. August is a tough month to get through, IMHO. Fires and floods and a cacophony of unhappy news being blared at us from every direction.
Life is tough. As I’ve noted before, it Happens. A Lot. Wild fires and storms can pass through our lives in symbolic ways. Illness, being let down by people we trust, and yes, we make mistakes that can set off unexpected bombs.
We are all human and thus subject to the Human Condition. A condition that includes fires and storms and other challenges.
But it also includes much joy. Family. Friends. Those who rescue (like the brave men fighting all the fires). Living our lives as fully as we can. I’m always amazed by the indomitable nature of the human spirit. Life Happens. It knocks us down. We get up. We move forward. We keep living.
Do you ever mull storms and life and happiness? Do I think too much? You can be honest. I love comments so much that I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value). (And don’t forget that once a quarter I’ll be tossing in something fun from the Perilously Fun Shop!) Recipient is announced the first blog post of the new month.