I’m sure by now, you have all heard of the Waldo Canyon Fire that has been raging outside of and in Colorado Springs this week. The events that transpired over the last week are like something out of a nightmare. Or an action-packed movie. Not something that you would imagine in our calm life. We watched, day by day, as this fire built in size “safely” over the ridge of the front range. I never in a million years thought the fire would come into the city. Tuesday, everyone’s worst fears were realized as the fire jumped TWO containment lines and spread down into our lovely Northwest side.
(the view from the top of our hill on Tuesday afternoon, right before the fire came over the ridge):
(Photo credit: Marco Antonio Marchiani)
(photo credit: Dana Smith)
(photo credit: Chris Pareso)
We were among the 32,000 residents that evacuated – fleeing for our lives as this massive wall of fire entered the city. This was hands down the scariest experience of my life (my sister said it even tops my labor with Johnny, which is saying something. I have to agree).
Today, we came back home. The firefighters were able to stop the blaze about 2 miles before it got to our house. Doug, Johnny & I are all safe. Johnny is soundly sleeping in his bed. This is more than I can say for a lot of folks who lost their homes or loved ones to this fire.
The scientific side of my mind makes sense of this fire with a formula that is something like this: over-growth + dry conditions + wind + spark = mighty big damn fire that wreaks havoc. However, the emotional side of my mind can’t process this yet. My heart weighs heavy for lives lost. My heart weighs heavy for those who lost everything they had. My heart weighs heavy for our beautiful vistas that are charred, burnt, and still smoking. My heart weighs heavy for all of the beautiful hiking trails and open spaces that were destroyed… the places where we have made many memories as a family.
Like a phoenix, the “burning down” of things, makes way for a new evolution – better than before. I know beautiful things have & will come of this… a greater sense of community, a LOVE and adoration of brave, selfless firefighters, and nature’s power and beauty that exists, even in flames. I hope, in time, the pain and heartache this community has felt will start to fade.