Santa Barbara has been so eventful lately, and not in the good way.
Thursday started just like any other. I went to work, felt a bit better (my cold is going away, yay), came home and did an hour of Vinyasa Power Yoga from yogadownload.com. It was a great practice, I was sweating, feeling the burn and the stretch. I was feeling strong and empowered.
Until I got downstairs. One of my housemates asks me, “have you seen the fire?”
“What fire?” I ask, and he leads me outside our house onto the street and I see this.
The beautiful Montecito mountains I look at EVERY SINGLE MORNING was up in flames! The air was filled with smoke and ash was slowly trickling down.
Although bush fires are relatively common in southern CA at this time of year, it was SO scary because this fire was only about 15 min drive away! The fire was in the mountains where I go hiking all the time!!!! In July we had another huge fire called the GAP fire, but it was a good 40 minutes away from me.
James was on his way to my house and called me that all of downtown SB had lost its power. My house miraculously had power, although two blocks down, there was no light. Rolling blackouts were predicted to occur, just like it did during the GAP fire.
This current fire, called the TEA fire, burned down hundreds of multi-million dollar homes throughout the Montecito area (that’s the area Oprah has her house.) It quickly burned over 300 acres and multiple homes. My boss even had to get evacuated!! It was so scary, because he lives only about 15 minutes away! The Santa Ana winds, responsible for blowing hot air into the mountains was acting erratic, and we had no idea which direction the fire would burn next. Our housemates and I were GLUED to the news on TV, calling people we knew and making sure everyone was safe. As more and more smoke filled the air, we were getting quite nervous that we would have to evacuate as well.
FORTUNATELY, that did not come to be. There were no fatalities, and we did not have to evacuate. But this event DID put me in a reflective mood.
So close to the holiday season, how would I react to such a tragedy as this? It made me SO grateful that I didn’t lose my home, my car, and ALL of my belongings. It got me thinking, what would I take with me if I had to evacuate? For about half an hour, I really went through what was most valuable to me, and what I would save. I’ve never been in a position to have to evaluate my things like that, and it really wasn’t a pleasant thought. My passports…. some cash…. some change of clothes….. And then I started thinking about all the pretty things I had accumulated for myself.I selfishly don’t want to lose any of it, and I was thinking I wanted to keep all of it. And then it started seeming all so trivial. And then I thought about the families who lost EVERYTHING in the fire, and I was extremely grateful that I still was able to keep all my pretty things.
You never know when disaster and tragedy is going to strike. This fire really reiterated HOW IMPORTANT it is to be grateful for what you have, and the people in your life. It really put into perspective for me. I’m going to be even MORE thankful for my friends, family, and anything I have this holiday season.
To all my blogger friends: I invite you to be extra grateful with me this season.
I hope everyone is safe, and my heart goes out wholeheartedly to ALL the families affected by this fire last night.
I hope everyone is having a pleasant Friday.