What if the fire was after you?
What if it was happening to you?
What if you weren’t simply watching it all live from the comfort and safety of your own home? What if you weren’t the audience of the tragedy but one of its victims?
What if you were the one forced to evacuate your home amidst deafening sirens and emergency alerts?
What if the flames of a devouring fire were pressing against your own property?
What would you do? How quickly would you gather your things, your family, your animals, and flee?
And what would you take?
How do you select in an instant among the myriad of things that compose a life? How do you choose what to take and what to leave behind to burn and be lost forever? How to you keep a clear head to act rationally when all you hear is “run to save your life”?
What constitutes a life that is so easily destroyed by what begins from a tiny spark?
What is essential and not?
How do you run when you know there will be nothing to come back to?
How do you pick yourself up when you know you probably lost everything the instant you close the door?
And what can anyone ever say to support, comfort, or encourage you?
Where do you find strength to carry on when you’ve literally seen your past, present and future ignite in flames?
And how can anyone ever do or say anything to make it better, when all they’ve done is watch your home burn live on TV?
There is very little to add to your words, what if it happen to you?
I once lived on the north side of Tai Mo Shan (a mountain in the New Territories of Hong Kong) and watched one part the forest burn for three days, in absolute awe at the power of the fire. We could only pray that the wind kept the inferno blowing east. Fortunately, it was a national park with no villages or houses in its path and no life was threatened or property lost.
A week after the fire I joined the volunteers clearing what we could and planting 100s of saplings.
You are right, there is very little you can do when faced with a raging inferno, take what you can and run. It is heartbreaking knowing how terrible it is for those directly effected.
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It is indeed. Thank you for sharing this powerful insight.
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