Friday, July 15, 2005

Back on track

M. and I have been home for three days, and life is beginning to settle down. It will be a long time before we forget the 3 a.m. evacuation and the drive into the dark mountains, not knowing if we would see our little house in the woods again.

You can read all about it at Nature Blog, probably more than you want to know.

I was on deadline with The Pomegranate when all this started. Most people, it seems, grab photo albums and such when they are forced to evacuate; I've seen that time and again. M. took her parents' wedding picture, I know that. But I had the little box of 3x5 cards for tracking article submissions to The Pom and a flash memory stick with all the files on it.

We arrived at a friend's house at what would become "Burro Camp" about 4 a.m. and spent the next three hours trying to sleep on sofas. When we had left home, our gravel county road was the new fire line, so in the state between waking and sleeping I tried to visualize a shimmering blue curtain running along it between the national forest and the home sites. All the fire had to do was move into a stand of dry, beetle-killed ponderosa pines, burn hot, and then toss embers down the hill to the road.

That never happened. When I returned, I could see that it stopped about 30 yards short of the dead trees. The wind shifted, I suppose. And the firefighters never had to make a desperate fight along the road to save the houses.

The fire did cross the road at a higher point, but quickly stopped, whether due to a wind shift or to daytime aerial slurry drops I don't know, since I don't know whether that part burned before dawn or not.

Of course, it is hard to keep from running a mental movie of yourself sifting through the ashes. I was kicking myself a little for not grabbing items from the outdoor shrine, located in a little grove uphill from the house. (Would a brass statue of Hekate from Sacred Source survive a fire?) What sort of Pagan leaves behind the household gods? On the other land, leaving those "graven images" there provides a focus point of magical work.

Anyway, it's nice to be back, on several levels.


Post a Comment

<< Home