Today I am writing this blog from my parent’s dining room table in Penrose, Colorado. A few days ago, my family and I were heading to the Springs to run a few errands. When we drove down highway 24 (the pass that connects our little mountain town of Woodland Park to Colorado Springs) there was a fire just starting in the forest. It was growing fast, too fast, and smoke was creating a terrifying chimney in the sky.
We finished our shopping as fast as we could and hoped that the highway would still be open so that we could get back home. It was and we made it back. Then we sat and watched the news in horror as the fire crawled across more and more of our beautiful forest.
My husband went to work in the Springs on Tuesday and as he left the office for the day he witnessed flames racing down the hill and into a neighborhood (pictures of what he saw first hand have been plastered all over the news this week). He came back very sobered and suggested that we evacuate just in case. Fire is very unpredictable and he had just witnessed it moving very fast! We packed up the necessities and headed to my parent’s home. The next day much of our town was put on a mandatory evacuation.
So, here I sit. It’s a strange feeling. When I left my house the hardest thing to leave was my books. I sat staring at the shelves. Then said out loud to myself, “they are only books, they are only books”. Yes, the really important things are here with me…my family is safe.
But those books are not only books. They are so much more. They are little pieces of me. Every book I give myself to changes me in some way, brings me new understanding, more things to love, things to hate, friendships to develop, ties to sever. A little piece of that book stays in me, like part of my molecular makeup. Unseen strings tie us together.
I am ready to admit that I have a problem. If you don’t believe me ask anyone who’s helped me move and carted way too many heavy boxes full of books into the new house. Maybe problem is not the right word…addiction. Not all addictions are bad…right? I am addicted to story. Books and movies. A good story is my favorite thing.
This fire will change our little piece of the country. It will leave an ugly scar on our beautiful landscape that will take years to erase. This is a tragic story right now. I hope it becomes a story of redemption because those are my absolute faves!