Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wild Fire & Gratitude

Pfeiffer Fire in the Wilds of Big Sur

Late on the night of December 15th a fire started in our neighbor hood. After assessing the situation, I decided to stay and see what I could do to protect my property. We are blessed. All of the people that worked with me are safe, all buildings on my property and my neighbors on the non-burned-side of the fire line we held are safe. PG&E restored electricity some days ago. We have telephone restored as of yesterday evening! 

On the fire-side of the line many long-time good friends have lost their homes and more, yet thankfully no lives were lost. My heart goes out to those that have lost their homes and possessions… I know I can only imagine the loss and what their journey to recovery will look like.
The fire burned right up to two structures on my property. The fire spotted over the line many times and in many places. I gave up in both mind and body numerous times on being able to save the line and save structures. Like a miracle, people showed up at just the right moment, the wind shifted at exactly the perfect moments… and not a second too late and more than once. My previous efforts at preparation made a difference at just the right moments, the temperature dropped at just the right moments, seemingly prayers were answered at just the right moments — and by the way, thank you all for your many prayers, well wishes, thoughts, and intentions that were sent our way. 
Countless factors, both known and unknown, came together, a few in my control, but mostly out of my control, to be able to write these words. Never in the whole experience did I feel we were “fighting” the fire — that, I think, is impossible. We were engaged in what feels like an epic dance of sorts with something more humbling and greater than human. The fire was more powerful than anything we humans can will to do as we want. We worked hard at this dance. As the nights and days have blended together it feels more like we just kept responding the moments best we could as the moment unfolded, and unfolded they did. We are blessed that the unfoldings went as they did. 
Nothing quite like feeling my mortality to appreciate this life, my friends and family. For now — gratitude, moments of great exhaustion and sadness, moments of seeing the world alive and fresh, feeling blessed beyond words. Love to each an every one of you. Wishing you all a happy holiday and the very best of the new year.
Steven of Bear Creek, Big Sur

P.S. Here are some links if you want more visuals: 
So, my house gets it's 15 seconds of fame? Check out the link: @ around 2:00 you see them zoom into my home; @ 2:20 you can see me going to meet the first fire engine to show; @ 2:50 the camera pulls back so you can see the whole scope of things and the fingers of fire making runs at my structures. This is about 18 hrs into the fire: http://www.ksbw.com/news/central-california/monterey/aerial-video-big-sur-fire-destroys-15-homes/-/5738820/23515542/-/6a9771/-/index.html 
A few photos I put up on Flickr: Pfeiffer Fire, December, 2013

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