Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Before and After

There are moments that mark your life, moments when you realize nothing will ever be the same, and time is divided into two parts-before this and after this.

That's the way it is now for our little town. There was before the fire and now there is after the fire. We are trying to get used to the "new normal" as the Forest Service put it last night at our community meeting. It hasn't really sunk in for anyone yet. No one has come to terms with the loss of the forest, our identity, our economy. We are going to have to reinvent who we are as a community in order to survive. Nobody is saying it but we are all thinking's in the back of our minds. For now we are preparing for the monsoon flooding that is on it's way next. Many of us dodged the bullet with the fire, but won't be so lucky when the water and mud come rolling off of the blackened mountain into town when the rains come. Our community crisis is far from over, we are in the midst of seeing what we are really made of as people, families and a community. I suspect we will do now-after the fire-what we did before the fire...hold each other up, hold each other close , and do what needs to be done to get through this.

The irony in this tragedy for me, is that I have the fire to thank for my "awakening".  My before and after the fire is backwards.  The tragedy for me was before the fire, when I was not living an authentic life, I was stuck in a place where I had no self-compassion, no self-love, and was allowing myself to be surrounded by people, things and thoughts that didn't serve me well.  All of that went up in flames with the fire and what was left in the ash is self acceptance, joy, heartache, and vulnerability that is so scary right now.......being "real" always is.  Am I grateful for the fire? No, I would have come to this "real"ization eventually without it-it was already on it's way.  I think my hope is that our community is able to have it's own awakening, it's own redefining, it's own healing after the fire, like I did.  To open itself up to greater possibilities, like I have experienced.  To find some light in all of this devastation.

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