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Fire this time

Obstacles and Blessings

Air, Fire, Water, Earth- the elements of our life, that when in balance, they bear great riches for our life, but when out of balance, they cause great disruption.

The air I breathe, the containment of fire, the abundance of water, the light in the sky and the freedom to walk on the earth when and where I want, I take for granted. This past week, with fires raging throughout the community where I live, I am reminded that I cannot take these life sustaining elements for granted, for they are all a gift!

I am used to going outdoors anytime of the day or night I want, but currently, I first have to check the air quality monitor and, if the ppm of particulates is below 100, then I can venture out, but only briefly because the air quality changes sometimes hourly, sometimes even less. This is particularly difficult for me because walking in the great outdoors is my main aerobic exercise and source of replenishment and inspiration.

With a heavy heart I am weighed down by great sadness this week for all the loss: friends’ homes and businesses gone with only rubble remaining to remind us of all the life that took place in those structures. Habitat for so many animals surrounding us, the beauty of both the natural environment and that created by human hands, the sunlight I have grown to expect to reveal daytime, the expansive blue sky and the freedom to come and go at will, all now have been destroyed or forever altered. The raging fires have taken so much from us and left us to ponder the disruption and destruction we are now left with. Fortunately, in this latest fire, no human lives were lost. This fire was called “Glass” not for the transparent glass we know, but the black volcanic glass we call obsidian. It started on a mountain formed of volcanic glass.

Simultaneous to processing the great losses, there has also been the kindness of friend’s living away from the wildfires who offered us safe haven as I evacuate in my car packed with essentials and personal treasures. We experienced the grace of having extra time to thoughtfully pack due to the firefighters and first responders working around the clock to protect us from the fires and strategically planning how to limit the spread. The tractor operators working all through the night to create fire breaks, again, to limit the spread. The air support dumping loads of retardant and water to cool and slow the raging flames. And then it was the miracle of stillness instead of the expected “red flag” winds in the forecast. Blessed with surprising stillness for several days in a row arresting the hungry raging flames and giving us hope for containment, giving us the chance to check on loved ones and how they fared.

Even through the threat of fires reaching our property, packing to be ready for evacuation, monitoring the fire maps hourly, and eventually, as our evacuation demanded our attention, we continued to film Montessori lessons, adding videos to the Montessori in my Home website. At a slower pace than we had planned and hoped for, but as one of my greatest teachers of patience, the banana slug, has taught me, we slowly and steadily reached toward the goal.

Now that we get back to some semblance of "normal"and the familiar rhythm of our days, we look forward to creating new lessons. We hope each video posted on our website will be a gift for your family, knowing it is a gift from us through both calm and chaotic times. May you and your family be blessed with a balance of air, fire, water, and light as together we walk on our loving earth.


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