For those of you who haven’t seen my Facebook posts, I live in the Black Forest northeast of Colorado Springs. The forest is on fire at the moment and I have experienced a hairy couple of days. I have also experienced love and support and I want to tell you, don’t ever hesitate to call, text or hug someone going through this sort of thing. Sure, they may be busy, but they still appreciate and need your call. In those moments when you feel like your brain deserted you, the support from others in invaluable.
I have had conflicting feelings, grateful as the fire sweeps in the opposite direction from my house and guilty because that means someone else’s house is in the path of this destructive monster. The ash and smoke burned my eyes, sure, but others have a permanent burn on their hearts because they have no home to go back to. Nothing but grey, charred rubble remains where a home once sat amongst Ponderosa pine, penstemon, and Indian Paintbrush.
Our log cabin Community Center still stands and we will rebuild, but it will be a long time before the landscape does not reflect the ugly destruction happening right now. Our hearts will heal too, with a lot of time, but I can imagine the fear will linger for a long time too.
I am grateful for the lessons learned last year from the Waldo Canyon Fire. I had a plan in place and it kicked right into gear because I had spent time thinking about what to do and in what order. After my important papers and valuables were safe though, I fell apart, and that is when I needed your love and support. Thank you. I can’t say it often enough. Thank you.
Thanks also to the first responders, fire fighters, the Sheriff and his team, the Governor, county officials, National Guard, and the list goes on and on. You obviously have worked so hard since Waldo and have done an exceptional job in responding quickly, efficiently, and bravely. Finally, thanks to my best friend Gudrun, who opened her home to me, and to everyone else who offered. You are the best. I know that if I had lost my home, I would still have you and my family, and that is all that really matters.