Sharing Love 4U

What wisdom and comfort can I offer from these years behind the front lines?

I am a fire survivor and I volunteered behind the frontlines of firestorms from 2015 until COVID.  I was working on a home resiliency model for fire survivors and COVID changed these plans.

COVID is a disaster context so enormous that I never dreamed of.  I try to draw comfort from what I knew in my past.   The following words are my reflections on this.

Practice self care, have gratitude for anything, and manage communications. Disasters are like drinking out of a fire hose. What I see happen in firestorms is people engage til they can’t do it anymore. They step away and many don’t come back. This global scenario doesn’t give us an escape, so self care is EXTREMELY important.

CLASSIC FIRESTORM SCENARIO: Fire destroys a town as persimmons ripen on the trees in September/October. After the fire, those persimmons are the only color left in a black and white landscape that crunches beneath your feet. The people, the birds … everyone is gone. It is quiet and lifeless.

That doesn’t last forever, but it is devastating. The door has closed very definitively on the past, and the new door to the future is yet to be found.

Yet slowly, moment by moment the landscape begins to change with the first rain. The bugs, the mice, the birds slowly emerge… and the starving cats with their burned paws barely mange to find food. But as time passes the trauma begins to be erased as the new possibilities emerge… The people return, clean, rebuild, reconnect and life goes on… in a very different way.

So here we are kitties with burnt paws. The world looks a little weird and the firestorm isn’t over. And unlike firestorms, there is no other community to run to. We are going to have to find strength in us we never knew we had.

Disasters bring out both the best and the worse in us all.  It pushes our capacity and by stepping through that experience, it changes each of us in profound ways.   ~ Good luck with your journey.

Wishing you well, Kimberly

Here’s a video I have shared with firestorm survivors in the past. Perhaps it will help you feel better too about community and about finding your own strength.