Friday, September 9, 2011

Walking Familiar Trails For The First Time

Day 5?  Day 6?  I'm completely unsure right now.  All I know is Sunday will be one week since the devastating fires erupted and decimated My Town.  Its been such a full week and yet my ability to remember many of the days is clouded at best.

This day was a beautiful warm day, with plenty of sunshine.  Those blue skies were still there and while there was no rain, there was also no smoke.

I drove around the downtown area with My Son this evening.  My first journey out into My Town since the fires began last Sunday.  I took the same route I took last Saturday, the day before everything changed.  I passed the spot where the fireman held out the boot for collection of funds for some charity.  I drove across the bridge that spans the Colorado river.  From the bridge you can see for miles in any direction and I did look.  I looked for smoke.  I saw none.

As I drove, I passed parking lots with mobile shower units and canopy covered areas used to prepare meal for those without homes.  I saw churches full of people helping people.  As I drove the perimeter of the Walmart parking lot in order to get to my destination, I saw travel trailers where people were staying because they had no where else to be.

My Son and I entered the local Subway sandwich shop only to find a couple of people there eating their dinner.  Everyone was quiet and when they spoke it was almost with a whisper.  No one is laughing, no one is relaxed.  No one is normal yet.

Turning back for home took me on the access road to the freeway.  It was nearly 7pm on a Friday night.  Normally, traffic is heavy as people are either coming home from work, headed out to football games or trying to find a place for dinner out.  Tonight, very few cars were on the road.  The roads were quiet.  Things were not normal.

I wish you could have seen My Town before the fire.  It was a beautiful town and when you approached it, you saw the lovely rolling hills covered with towering pine trees.  A little slice of heaven it was.  I know it will be again one day but for now, it has a gaping wound and is scarred.

I heard that tomorrow, the south end of the major roadway will open once again.  That route will take you past much of the devastated area.  I must be honest, I don't think I can bare to look at it.  Not right now.  I simply prefer to remember it the way it was as I know once I see it, that will become my last memory and the beauty will be gone from my mind.

Tomorrow I will make my weekly trek to the Producers Market.  I know along the way I might see some evidence of a fire but I will not be traveling the direction of the big fire.  I will travel the same route I traveled last Saturday, when the world was normal and over 1400 families had homes and the pine trees were standing tall on the rolling hills of My Town.

My trek tomorrow will be that familiar route, the route I've taken every Saturday now for several months.  But I know, in light of all that's happened, I will be seeing the journey with different eyes because nothing is normal and nothing is the same any more.  And it wont be normal for a long time to come.  No matter what we do, we cant make that big black scar go away.  Time will take care of that.  We simply can't be in a hurry.

But for me, for right now, I choose to not look that way, not that direction.  Not just yet.  Just a few more day please.  Just a few more days with my memories.

No comments:

Post a Comment