Unless you knew me in the actual world before you knew me here, you don’t know that I live in Malibu, California. I just didn’t want to put that out there at the beginning of our relationship because Malibu is such a cliche of snootiness and excess and that’s not me or my friends in this town. But now that a wildfire overran us last Friday, I need to come clean because it’s time to post and I can’t think about anything but this fire. Sorry for the fib.
Here’s what’s happened so far. We woke up Friday morning reeling from the gun massacre in Thousand Oaks to receive a phone call from the City if Malibu for a mandatory fire evacuation. There had been a fire inland and threatening winds the night before but nobody expected this thing to fly to the sea like it did. I remember the first week we lived here, a Santa Anna wind woke me up howling so fast I thought, “If there was a fire and I was trying to outrun it, I couldn’t.” I was too scared to sleep that night but now I’ve gotten braver about the howling after 18 years in this house, experiencing so many thrilling surprises having to do with marriage and children and friendship and love, as well as the natural beauty of this place.
This would be the only thing to explain my reaction when the evacuation was called which was – calm as a fireplug! And that held, through packing and the five hour evacuation traffic jam with a huge roiling fire cloud that covered the entire sky behind us. This calm held through two days of armageddon rumors and solid news about too many friends whose homes burned completely. And us not knowing whether our house was even standing until my brave, amazing friend, Lisa, went by and sent me a picture of our house still standing – Isn’t that the most beautiful picture you’ve ever seen in your life!!!
Through it all I remain calm and I’m proud of that. I always wanted to be one of those people who could quietly say – “All that really matters is that my family is safe.” I always knew I’d feel that way inside but I thought I’d be bonkers on the outside. This is Elder Wisdom – this wise calm informed by 73 years if living. Please pray for Malibu and Thousand Oaks which suffered the fires and the loss of so many in the shooting. Please pray for all those in fires everywhere, firefighters and first responders everywhere, and everyone in peril everywhere. Please pray for the pets and wild animals. Trees.
Somebody on the news said it looked like a war zone, but that’s not true at all. In a war zone people are trying to kill each other. Here everyone is trying to keep each other safe! We are evacuated and safe.
Hug your loved ones. Stay Safe!
All photos – I’m looking for credits, will post when I get them.