Glowing Embers

How fired up are you about life?
by Writer With Heart Karen Leslie

This question came to me when the hills that reign gloriously over our charming community and miles of the surrounding areas were a flame. In the dark of night, fires were eating up vegetation, homes and lives were at stake.
Winds of change were fierce!

In survival mode without electricity, I found myself fumbling blind in haste to gather what was absolutely needed. My sleepy panicked brain tried to catch up and register this notion of necessity. My comfort zone became uncomfortable!
With my heart beating rapidly, I grabbed important papers, money, clothes, food and water, then waited in the dark for the possibility of evacuation.

In my street clothes and ready to take action if need be, sleep came, and in the early morning light, the skies thick with smoke, I woke up not yet knowing the depth of devastation. In that moment, I felt safe, lucky and grateful that my life, as I knew it, was still intact.

This experience woke me up out of my every day and what seemed like a humdrum boring life to… I have it all and my whit’s within! Through all the drama and chaos, our sweet Ventura Coralier Choir (The Ventura Coralier Choir with talented director Barbara Reed is made up of inspiring second half of lifers from 64-99 years young)rose up out of the ashes and came together to perform and sing for retirement home residents. Our voices of hope and life tearfully lifted not only their spirits but ours as well.

Days later, still on alert with sirens as background, I felt a settling comfort in my spirit and realized I did not need anything or need to do anything but show up as I am. I have friends that love and care about my safety, a place to lay my head at night, more than enough clothes and jewelry to adorn my body, a full tank of gas, food, drinking water and toilet paper.

I have my sense of self to rely on and wisdom from experience to keep sharp while in survival mode. The moral of the story is…be in awe and wonder of your existence, embrace the little things and in times like this, appreciate the risk takers and safety netters, compassionate hearts and helping hands of our amazing human hood that come together in the neighborhood of life!

We are wired to survive together!

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