I guess it is a Tuesday Art/Journal Prompt this week. Sigh. I know I missed last week as I was traveling and knew I wouldn’t have time to work on the blog. But this week Monday came and went and it didn’t even cross my mind to work on a blog post. After I went to bed last night, I suddenly realized that it was Monday and I hadn’t posted! How do I miss that it is Monday?
I’ll tell you how. A large fire started just west of town on Saturday. It is close to some residential areas and is in a very steep terrain, so it is difficult to access for firefighters and it has grown by leaps and bounds. We have had record-breaking heat the past week and winds and we are in a drought, and none of that is good for fighting fires. The TV stations here have been running non-stop coverage of all things related to the fire. Lots of photos and videos, press conferences, news commentary, town meetings, etc etc. It’s never-ending and it just starts to invade all of your time and thoughts!
While we are quite a ways away from the fire, it is easily visible from where I am, as well as the great plumes of smoke that you can see and the smell of smoke in the air, and thus it affects me. Which is nothing compared to those who have been evacuated from their homes, and those who are worrying about how close the fire is to where they live, and those who are on the edges so are constantly waiting for the call to evacuate. It is stressful for everyone involved, and I hope and pray that nobody gets hurt and no properties are lost.
It brings back to mind my own experiences with being quite close to a major forest fire. When the Hayman Fire occurred (about 10 years ago), we lived in the vicinity of the fire. We loaded up all kinds of irreplaceable things and took it all to town to leave with friends. You make decisions about what is truly important and valuable to you when you are in a crisis situation. What are you willing to save if everything else should be lost? We never left the house without our dog because if they evacuated the area, we wouldn’t be able to go back to get him. We also kept our work stuff with us at all times for the same reason. We evacuated for a short amount of time and went to town to stay with friends, but that just makes you more nervous because you can’t see the fire anymore or know if it is near your home. It was much less stressful to be at home and in close proximity to the fire than to be away from it. You could at least monitor the fire and know when the winds were changing to send the fire in a new direction. The smoke is difficult to deal with, especially if you have any kind of respiratory concerns. The heat is unbearable. The fear is always just under the surface of everything you do. So I know exactly how the people affected by this current fire feel. It just becomes the only thing you can think about!
So, now you know why I forgot Monday. I wasn’t thinking about it being Monday. I was thinking about the fire.
For the prompt for this week, I suggest you write or make art about something in your life that has had a great impact (like this fire). Something that caused you to rethink things and look at life a bit differently. We all have these events in our life, some good and some bad, but all affecting change in how we view the world and our own place in it. What have you experienced that changed your life-view?
- ‘0% Containment’… (gazette.com)
- Waldo Canyon Fire grows; thousands remain evacuated (kdvr.com)