Friday, June 29, 2012

A Few Thoughts About a Fire.

First of all, I am not really qualified to write this piece.  I didn't lose my home.  Living in the center of Colorado Springs I wasn't even evacuated.  Unlike some of my friends, I didn't take in evacuees.

But let me say this.

This morning I read that a person (not a body, this is no cozy mystery to be read then forgotten) was found dead in a fire-ravaged home in the north end of Colorado Springs.  I didn't know this person in any way, shape, or form.  He or she was just fellow Coloradoan who shared my home town and died in a horrific natural disaster.  My heart broke and I wept.

Let me say this.

Thank you to all the folks who worked tirelessly to save the homes of friends, parents, former students, and people I might never meet.  Your efforts haven't gone unnoticed. You are appreciated.  You are true heroes.

Let me say this.

To all of you who lost your homes.  I know that any words I speak here will be inadequate. I know.  I tried this morning to tell a friend my feelings about her loss.  Thoughts froze in my mind and words tumbled out of my mouth in a rush of nonsense.  All I can really say is that you are in my heart and in my prayers.

Let me say this.

To all of you who opened your homes to frightened refugees.  You are love made manifest.  I envy you your generosity and selflessness.  I envy you even more because you performed your acts of kindness without feeling a loss.  Everyone I know who took someone, or an entire family, in felt it was an honor.  It's moments like these that make me proud of my species.

Here are the facts:  A fire storm raged out of Waldo Canyon, was fed by mindless winds, spread at an insane speed across my beautiful mountains, was fought by men and women of valor, displaced over thirty thousand people, consumed (as of this time) almost sixteen thousand acres, and devoured over three hundred homes.

Again I say these are the facts.  But the story is so much more.



  1. This has been such a hard time for all of us, whether directly affected or not. I work off of Garden of the Gods & Elkton and I was there when the fire exploded over the ridge. I watched the fire and heard the sirens of the fire department trying to evacuate the area. I've been struggling with some guilt, knowing that I was able to go to my home in a safe place while some lost their lives or all their posessions. But it's been amazing to see how everyone pulled together to help out.

  2. Bob, this brought tears to my eyes.