CZU Lightning Complex Fire above Boulder Creek, CA on August 18, 2020

Fire changes everything

3 years ago today, we were evacuated from the CZU Lightning Complex + our mountain town is still in recovery 🤍

I’m sharing a poem I scribbled a couple days into displacement to send love out to everyone affected by wildfires over the past few years:
Fire ate my life.
It robbed our community
Left ashes where neighborhoods stood proud.

I most remember
saying goodbye to Thelma and Louise
as I cracked their coop doors open,
with a full night of darkness
and a world of unknowns awaiting outside.
They coo-ed softly
I blew a kiss
and said: I’ll see you on the other side.

Who knows what that will have meant.

Returning from a hazy town frantically,
we began packing dazed.
We threw our quickest collection
of one Prius-load of our life together.

CalFire evacuation order,
the mood shifted stern
and the cats were caged immediately.
We packed the car swiftly
and sped into the night in a blink.

We flipped a mile down the road
to return for loose belongings,
headphones, the cat wand and our pillows,
and it already felt like swimming against the current.
Our car beams fanned the house
as we pulled out, we said a final: I love you
to the home we had caringly been crafting.

Winding up and down bear creek,
we quickly fell into an evacuee train,
of true mountain folk sorts,
racing through the curves
like fire was nipping at our heels.

The rest of the night was a blur.
The next morning, I was drowning,
tangled in guilt,

As the fire raged on, so did the crushing monstrosity of it all.
Life would never be the same.

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