Wednesday, October 24, 2007

California Burning With Need

Watching the coverage of the California fires on CNN this week, got me thinking. As I listened to people being interviewed at the scene of the fires, I was continuously surprised by how many of them didn’t want to leave their homes. They just refused to go; they wanted to stay and protect their belongings.

Their belongings?? Seeing how devastating the flames were, how it engulfed such a large area and how it was spreading at such a high rate of speed, I think I would have asked a few questions of those future displaced people. Questions like, are you out of your mind? You want to risk your life to save a HOUSE?? A house. And things?? Stuff? Items which, for the most part, can be replaced? I have never been in a fire, and I hope I never am, and I do understand the loss of possessions which often represent a life and an identity can be devastating, but I don’t think more devastating than losing life itself.

It made me ask myself what my most treasured possession is and what I would save from a fire. What would I choose to take? Do I even have a treasured possession? How hard would my choice be? Do I take pictures? My grandfather’s guitar? My father’s ring? My mother’s wedding dress? My baby book? My journals, which include my diaries from grade school?

Man, oh man, I just don’t know. The thing about my life now, is this: Everything I need on a daily basis is with me in the truck, so if I had to save something from the truck, it would probably be my computer. Other than that, there isn't anything else in the truck that I would miss if it went up in a fiery ball of flames.

As for the stuff that’s not in the truck, depending on how much time I have, I think I would definitely try to take my grandfather’s guitar and as many photo albums as I could carry. Other stuff could really be replaced, and most of my digital photos have been backed up, but childhood photos and those that lay out my family history in living color (or black and white as it were) are the ones that I’d would really like to have.

I have been very fortunate to have never been in a situation like the people in California are; living in shelters and with family or friends, watching their neighborhood and watching their homes being destroyed. I do hope in some small way, they can learn a valuable lesson from this; realizing that things really don’t matter, people do.

And I wouldn’t care one iota about the stuff flaming before my very eyes, because I would know then, as I do now, is that I have everything I already need.


Anonymous said...

It's true that you have to be wary about they start possessing you. I would take my photos and my guitar...and run like hell.

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

My family's home burnt to the ground before I was born, so I've always had this weird thing about fires and important possessions. In fact, being here, one of my biggest goals is getting all that *most* important stuff (family photos, etc.) here and together in a safe place.

We're so blessed to have NOT had to consider this personally.