When I left the brown desert of Arizona seven years ago to relocate in the lush greenery of Central Texas (Bastrop County), I felt like I had entered into a Paradise of Green - trees grass and colorful wildflowers and wildlife everywhere. There was lots of rain.
Two years ago the rain stopped. The green started turning to dry, dusty brown. The trees began dying and falling over from lack of water. A few weeks ago, the angry dragon visited us bringing his entire family with him.
Bastrop County, Texas burned. Over 50 fires with flames reaching 200 feet in the air scorched the land. Over 1700 houses burned leaving thousands of people homeless. The military had to assist with their mega-fire fighting machines on the ground and in the air. Sill the dragon raged on for days. Some fires were set by arsonists and some by nature. Most by arsonists. The dragon visited or place burning one of two houses here on our lot to the ground. Not the one we live in.
Tip 1: I am very grateful. I choose to be grateful for what is and not mourn for what was.
Tip 2: Twice we were warned to evacuate. Do I choose to get myself into an emotional panic over what "might happen"? I chose to stay calm even in the face of the closing-in impending fire. I noticed that by constantly choosing to stay calm, I could select the items most important to me to take in case of evacuation. We loaded and unloaded the care twice. I chose to maintain an attitude of safety at all times. Not always an easy thing to do. Still, the dragon stomped all around us and we were untouched in our living quarters.
There is a community of people who lived about six miles from me in the deep thick of the woods. They maintain their own fire department. A lady with a husband and two children is a firefighter there. Every home in that community was destroyed by the fire of the angry dragon along with their every possession. I heard her say, "All I want to do is to keep fighting fires."
Tip 3: When we keep fighting the dragon, even when it is dead, does that not keep us from having to deal with the destruction left behind by the dragon? "I am so angry at the dragon; I will kill it over and over." Sometimes hanging on the dramatic endings can obscure the gifts in new beginnings.
All is relatively quiet here now in this once green and lush county. Many people are leaving. Some are staying and re-building their lives and homes as best they can. The dragon and his family are gone after weeks of fiery devastation. It's time for new beginnings. There is a saying here that goes: I can't see the forest for the trees. It means I can't see the "Big Picture" from where I am standing in the thick of it. Well, I think it is safe to say that the forest is gone. I can see clearly now.