Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fire and Skies

A terrible forest fire is burning about 30 miles north of us, in the mountains just west of Ft. Collins. For days, my FC friends have been posting apocalyptic photos of skies filled with black smoke, too-orange sunsets, and dying red suns. Two days ago we could see the flames from the brewery's patio where we sat drinking pilsner. It was hazy all the way to Denver, but by evening the wind changed, granting us clear views and a flame-tinted sunset, marvelous and awe-striking to behold. Today I wake to the scent of the earth burned and ravaged like the end, the ground smoldering in the dawn. The smoke is thick enough in my backyard that the bees are hesitant to leave their hive. They dart nervously around the lip, those inside possibly gorging on honey by instinct. Over 41,000 acres have burned. My sister-in-law Sophie has been evacuated from her mountain home.

Yesterday Mr. V and I sat in downtown Denver drinking mojitos and talking about god. I care about things that happen in the world, but I don't read the news. I don't assign the divine too much blame, nor too much credit. Cheryl Strayed writes in Wild that "god is not a granter of wishes", which both goes straight to the heart of what I believe and only skims the surface at once. It is in the same spirit I tell you that I wasn't too worried about this fire until I woke up and found it arriving in my own back yard. I tried to explain to my husband how I agree with what Cheryl wrote, but that there's more to it than that. I got teary, it might have been the rum. The fire burned, and I couldn't find the words. The winds will change. Everything will.


  1. Wow.

    There's more to say on so many levels, but I'll stick with - I hope your sil and you guys are all safe. Much love to you.

  2. So scary. As you know, we have these kinds of fires in southern California pretty regularly -- there's something so wild and primitive and terrifying and beautiful about them and so weird to go about your days with the specter of smoke, the ash lightly covering everything.

    Stay safe.

  3. Your post made me think of this verse:

    "In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor..."

    My thoughts are with you and your family as you are refined by fire on so many different fronts.

  4. Very poetic. And it sounds like you're a deist. Good people, those deists.


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