They say time makes everything better, and talking about stuff helps. Well, I'm not quite sure exactly who "they" are... but they are only half right in this instance. Yes, time will make the experience fade a bit... but right now, talking about it doesn't help.

I heard an interview with a well-known soft-jazz musician who lives in the area and he was relaying his evacuation experience. Like me, his home escaped damage. But listening to him recount exactly what I went through, and knowing that we came through it all just fine while literally thousands of families did not just seemed so shallow.

True, we had to escape. But we both had lots of notice. We had time to pack and take the things that were most valuable to us (and make decisions of what to leave behind--like my mother's teddy bear). While I was part of a small group that was police escorted through an area with fire on both sides of us, I was not in imminent danger of being consumed by flames as were some people.

Bottom line: I had a home to come back to, for which I am most grateful. I did not have to deal with sifting through the ashes, nor did I have to seek assistance from any of the many public agencies that set up camp down the street from me.

But I have been greatly affected by this fire. I drive through one of the hardest hit areas each day on my way to work. Seeing homes that have literally melted into the ground. Trees that were once two-hundred year old majestic olds that are now charred hulls. I weep inside for all that has been lost... for the families that have lost their teddy bears, for the landscape that has lost its beauty for years to come.

For three weeks, each day the landscape looked sadder and sadder. Even while the various utility companies were stringing new wires, installing new poles, the vegetation was crumbling.

But then, last week the cleanup began. Erosion control measures became evident. Many of the blackened skeletons were removed, leaving just blackened ground. But it looks better. It looks more... normal...

Yes, time... even just a few weeks... is making this better. Most of the families will rebuild and have new homes. Nature will regenerate itself and once be green, lush, and beautiful.

But it will all be different. Not necessarily a bad thing, but nothing will be the same again. And I guess that's what life is all about: growing, moving forward... changing.


I've been digging into my writing. Haven't been blog-hopping much, so this is the 1st time I've read these posts. OMG, Brooke! You gave me cold chills.

I'm so glad your house wasn't a casualty. Hugs.