When you read the word fire, what does it bring up for you? Something positive? Negative? Do you think of candles, a warm fire on a winter’s night, a campfire where you gather with friends or family and tell stories, connecting with each other over roasted marshmallows?

Or do you think of the scary side of fires? Destruction and doom?  Wildfire

When I lived in Fairbanks, Alaska, one wildfire came very close to our house a few summers ago. I happened to be out of town at the time and my now husband/then boyfriend asked me over the phone what I wanted him to take if he had to evacuate immediately. Without any hesitation I said, “you and the dogs.”

Those living breathing beings were all that mattered to me. I didn’t care about anything else. Everything else was just stuff. Clothes, furniture, my computer, even old pictures. Memories on paper I’d had for decades, I was willing to part with in an instant.

We didn’t have to evacuate. Three directions around that fire were homes. The wind blew the one direction where no structures were located, and the fire headed that way. Luck? Divine intervention? Who knows.

Now I live in Bend, OR where a forest fire started not that far from town last weekend. It’s been dry here and warm. Perfect conditions for it to grow. And grow it did. Fast! Evacuation orders were sent out for many.

We weren’t part of it but I still remember that feeling. That moment when I realized I had no control. None whatsoever. It was both terrifying and humbling. You find out what, or who, is most important in your life. In an instant.

And that’s good to know. That’s the stuff worth fighting for. Because everything else is just fluff. Fluff can be gotten again later, if you really miss it and want it again.

I have a really good friend named Pam, who a few years ago, woke up in the middle of the night with her own house on fire. Can you imagine the confusion, panic, and terror? She, her family, as well as most of their animals got out alive. One dog sadly died in the fire.

That threw Pam’s life into total chaos and transition. Whether she wanted to or not, she embraced that transition, and has come out the other side beautifully. To meet her, you would never know such devastation was part of her life, and not all that long ago. She went through the Change Cycle. It’s a process we all go through when a catastrophic event happens to us out of the blue, or even if we decide to change something that isn’t working in our lives.

Next week I’ll go into detail about the change cycle, what stage you might be in within it, and some tips for dealing with each stage.

But back to fire.

Do you know what you'd take if you had to evacuate your home in 10 minutes? Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me,

If this struck you and you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”. Please forward it to them.

I love hearing from you.

susan small sig 05:14

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life