It goes without saying that we are in a time like no other. Just when we all thought that the pandemic was without end in sight, there enters a wildfire setting most of California ablaze. If it's in your thoughts, here it is in writing... We can't catch a break! For those of you that have been, or in the midst of being evacuated, we pray you are safe and we're here to help if we can. As of this writing, Cari and I are on alert to leave at a moments notice should anything change. But so far, so good.
During this time, my mind shifts to more pressing matters. My uncle is a firefighter in Southern California, and every time fire season comes around, he goes to work. It's crazy since, to us, it seems like a normal job. The way a barista would go to Peets, or an accountant would head in to the office, or a dance teacher at the studio. Make no mistake, being a FIREFIGHTER is no regular job. Any person in the front line service is not regular. They risk their lives every moment they enter their positions. The only other job that I know does that is a Superhero. And that's what they are, superheroes.
My uncle is safe and has done it for many years. He's amazing! The only time I've ever seen him hurt, is when he fell through the second floor of a home that caught on fire. He broke his clavicle and made the news. Thank GOD he was fine, so being on the news was his claim to glory. Watching him give a thumbs up as they whisked him away in a gurney was empowering.
These men and women that enter into blazing fires when the state burns is breathtaking. They go in willingly, knowing that there's a possiblity it could be worse. But why? Why do they choose to go in? And in service of others no less! To put their life ahead of their own is my deifinition of bravery. On top of that, I see normal everyday people doing the same. When I'd hear of the hurricanes and tornadoes that would go throughout the midwest and Florida, I would see people stay in their homes and say things like "Nothing will move me. Not even a hurricane". Really? You need a reality check because it's coming right for you. And then to think they just rebuild when they could easily move somewhere safer.
And here I am in California and think "Oh, it's just another earthquake or fire We'll get through it." Now I get it. These people that are saving their homes are not without sense, they are fully present and committed to helping the cause with their brothers and sisters in arms trying to slow the burn. They put on that mask and superhero suit in that moment and do their best to save what is theirs and others around them. Kudos to everyone that becomes a firefighter.
When it really comes down to it. Would I do it? Who knows. But I envy those with the courage that do. Well done Firefighters! All of you.
Thank you for being brave.