OT: San Diego Firestorm 2007 – A Spirit Check

firefighter.jpg Many of my blog readers don’t realize I live in San Diego. For those who do, and those that sent emails asking how I am doing, all is fine with me and I’m counting my lucky stars. The fires are burning to the northeast and southeast of my home so I’m thankful that I could offer my home as refuge to a few friends who were evacuated.

As the winds seem to be subsiding, I am hopeful that the conditions will now get better for the rescue workers and firefighters. My neighborhood has served as a refuge, and the streets are full of cars loaded with the critical items people were able to rescue from their homes. The air is smoky, the ground is covered with ash, and the sky is an ominous grey and orange color as the sun is setting.

It’s been a surreal experience watching these fires burn so out-of-control, destroying everything in their path, and painfully waiting to see where it goes next. The news reporters have been doing an amazing job it and it was especially painful watching a long-time San Diego news reporter file his story right in front of his own home of 25 years while it burned to the ground.

Some people complain that San Diego doesn’t have a strong community feel to it since most residents of San Diego come from somewhere else. Well, they can stop complaining. While this firestorm is showing us the worst of mother nature, it is showing us the best of human nature. San Diegans from all over are pitching to help those less fortunate – from offering refuge, to volunteering at shelters, to communicating the latest info through the various media sources.

Those that are truly demonstrating the best of the human spirit are the rescue workers and firefighters who are putting themselves in harms way to save our lives and our homes. Many have been working for 72 hours+ with little or no sleep. They will humbly tell you it’s their job. There is no way to thank them enough.

While our human spirit is literally burned around the edges, I’m confident it is still in check. I’m going to take the next few days and renew my faith in human nature, in our ability to give to those less fortunate, and our desire to pitch in and give selflessly. The only things worth keeping in life are the things we give away.

As the temperatures run high, the winds still ferocious, and the fire still intense, I’m so thankful that the human spirit is just as high, ferocious, and intense.

(photo courtesy of NBC San Diego)

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