Fire – Bad!


Fire – It can be good…and then well, bad. Fire bad! Fire, very bad!

I’ve had both in my life, the good and then, the bad kind. But as I always try to do, I tend to look at things with the glass half full versus half empty.

In nature, fire can be very harsh and destructive. But in the bad, especially when not made or caused by humans…fire is nature’s way of giving birth to new young, fresh life. Forests depend on fire! After so many seasons, the forest floors become cluttered with debris of all types and kinds. And when lightning strikes and sets that forest to blaze, it will take everything in its wake. Left are the blackened, charred remains that stink of death and everything cold and dark. And yet from those tendrils of destruction, comes the very birth of new seedling life. Green and moisture takes over what was grey and dry, starving for air.

Life begins again.

And so too does it for us humans. Though many reports you’ve heard tend to drone on these things to exhaustion (the media loves a good story and fire is one of them), the good that can come as a result of such a tragic event, is always the silver lining to an otherwise very emotional time.

A few years ago…I had such an event occur in my very home. And let me tell you, it was not only shocking…but life changing as well. If you’re a clutter monger like I am, this is the fastest way to remission and recovery of that ailment to be sure! I managed to get out of my house with only the clothes on my back and thankfully, my life! Because while I can sit here now and breath easy that I’m alive, well and healthy…I came as close as I’ve ever come in my life, to not being here and have the ability to share this!

And all because I was determined to save my mother’s cockatiel for which I had the distinctive honor to take over his care. My mother, god rest her beautiful soul, never knew that Willie…didn’t survive it. That’s a whole ‘nother story that maybe I’ll feel comfortable enough to share some day, but not right now.

What I found most fascinating, if one can say that having a fire in your own home is fascinating…is how fast it can travel and grow to out-of-control proportions. The Fire Chief that came within minutes of my call to 911, told me hours later that the fire had reached temperatures well over 1,000 degrees in a matter of minutes! Amazing that in rooms that actually had no fire in them at all…things made of plastic were melted and deformed. Even with no actual flames in a room 20 feet away or more…the fire left its ugly calling card on everything!

And the smell! Have you ever had a fire and breathed in its aftermath? If you have, then you know of what I speak. It’s an awful scent. And then there was the morbid task of digging and sifting through the charred remains to find anything of value that might be salvageable.

I lost a great deal that day and to be honest, the fire was just the tip of the iceberg to losses that had come already…and unbeknownst to me at the time, there would be more to come!

But, new life grew from the ashes of tragedy. Thank goodness for good homeowners insurance, though I will say that even working through that was not an easy venture. I’m a keep-to-myself kind of guy, but my day job is in sales and it suits me, because I am a friendly chap. But still, at the end of my day I come home tired, exhausted from the 12+ hours I just worked and all I want to do is collapse and be lazy. Without telling you what I actually do for a living, I’ll say that what I do is really a lifelong passion. I’m okay with the long work hours I put in because it’s a love and I believe I’m giving back to something that helped to shape the person I am today. So it was both an awkward yet touching thing for me, when a few of my fellow employees and customers I visit each week, heard of the event that happened and offered their support. Their thoughtful cards of well wishes, gift cards to help in the recovery of many things lost, it was all very kind and extremely generous.

I’m not very good with accepting gifts. I believe and was raised that to give is better than to receive. I believe we are all here to serve one another, to help each other enjoy the gift of life we are all very lucky to have! So it was difficult for me to accept those kind gestures of support but it also taught me, reminded me that we all as human beings have a built-in interest to help one another. In this day and age it’s something that is so easily lost. We get caught up in our daily lives; we feel stress and intensity to complete the projects we set for ourselves, or those whom we work for, set for us. There are *rules to living of course (you knew about that, right?) that we all must obey and follow, our devices keep us routinely checking and rechecking for important information that has to be responded to and acted on..IMMEDIATELY!!

You have to make that appointment on time, don’t forget to reply to my message within 5 minutes, don’t miss your exit or you’ll have to take a longer more time-consuming route to make up for your mistake, don’t forget to get that quote done by 3 today and oh yeah, you won’t even be able to be at a place you can DO that until 2:50, if you’re lucky! Pick up your dry cleaning today before 5 or else…and shoot, I’m out of Kefir and I gotta have Kefir in the fridge, so you need to stop at the grocery store on your way home! Got it? Oh look, you’re late now!

STOP!!! Just slow down!! Life will go on!

What is life if you don’t stop to smell the scenery and beauty of its brevity! No one is going to die or the world come to an end if you’re late to your appointment, or you don’t respond within the designated 5 minute time frame of a text…or if I miss my exit…I got to see something else I hadn’t before because of it, right? Rejoice in it!

My point is…Fire is everywhere! It’s a force of nature! It’s a force and fact of life and fire comes in many shapes and forms. Fire, whether its of intense orange and blue flame that scorches things to dust with its fierce unforgiving heat…or it’s a war waging on in some part of the world, or it’s a spirited argument between people, or a natural disaster of some type…these things bring the human spirit to its knees, its very basic level of the need and will to survive and help our fellow sisters and brothers to do the same. We come together in those moments and we plant the seeds to help each other rise up and appreciate each other just a little more.

I’m grateful to have my life! But I’m even more grateful of the lessons learned that life isn’t complicated, it’s very basic and simple really, and nothing is more important to me than to leave this world in better condition than the day I entered it.

Think of what the world and all its lives can be, it begins with me, it begins with you!

*there are no rules to living of course, I was just trying to be humorous.


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