I have been MIA for almost two weeks now due to a horrific event that happened in my city of Santa Rosa in Sonoma California on the night of October 8th. A wildfire like there has never been before in California broke out in our city on Sunday night along with 70 mile an hour winds.
You can Google pictures and articles online if you want to see what devastation has occurred in several counties in Northern California from these wildfires. By the time the sun was rising on Monday morning hundreds of homes were burned to the ground, neighborhoods were gone.
The story I want to share with you is about my experience upon being evacuated. Our home backs a State Park which was burning, but we had time to pack our cars and take what belongings we wanted out of danger. As I walked through my home thinking about what I needed to take besides my two Boston Terriers. I realized as I opened drawers and closets that the decision really wasn’t that hard. Why? Because not much of what I owned really had a deep meaning to me, it was just stuff.
I was able to pack some clothes, personal items and what was really important (passport, birth certificates, etc.) in a backpack. I did take a few boxes of pictures that were from before the digital age that could not be replaced and I was very thankful for having the cloud that held my digital files.
As I left my home and looked in the back of my car I could not stop thinking “this is it, this is what would not be replaceable.” A few boxes, my dogs and I drove away, but the thought of “what is really important” has not left me.
Things do not make us who we are, we have the opportunity to be who we want to be each and every day. I have witnessed people who lost everything, they escaped with their pajamas on and they are smiling and thankful. Life certainly is not about things. It is about what we bring to it and to others each day.
My husband and I were one of the fortunate ones and after a week of being evacuated we are back in our home, it smells like smoke but we are safe and sound while thousands of my community people are sitting in evacuation camps that are spread among several counties.
There are many lessons that I have learned, maybe I have known some of them before, but now I know them more deeply in my soul because I have experienced them. Our focus now is on helping our friends, neighbors, family and strangers move forward into what Sonoma County is calling “Our New Normal.”
Thank you, to those of you who reached out to check on me during this time. Your friendship is priceless to me!
Each day is a new beginning, let’s make the best of it.