What if you had to Evacuate?
Last night, driving home from our vacation, we crested a hill close to our house and saw the glow of the flames from the latest wildfire behind our home. We drove in silence for a few minutes and then together started trying to figure out how far it was from our house.
The conversation then led to, “What would we grab if we had to evacuate quickly?”
It is a question that demands that we decide what we value most.
It is a powerful question for all of us to consider, especially in the month of gratitude here in the United States.
We answered with the obvious first, one another and our animals.
Then, from there, it became less obvious. What we are really asking is, “What do we really need in order to survive? What are the things that we want around us?
I have a picture of my dad when he was 19 and in the military on the mirror of my dresser in our bedroom. That was the first thing that came to mind. It became important to me in that moment to keep his image of his younger self with me to remind me that my dad was young once with dreams and aspirations. Right next to it, is a picture of me as a toddler reminding me of my younger self with my own dreams and aspirations.
We would grab papers that document our lives, things like certificates for insurance, titles to cars and corporation papers. All of these things that would allow us to continue to function.
As we started down the list, I realized that none of it could replace our memories, our love for one another, the deep connections we have with other people in our lives and the unconditional love of our animals.
When it is all said and done, the only thing we could really not survive would be the loss of love, the loss of our relationships. We can replace the structure, the clothes, the appliances. But we cannot replace one another. Grant it, we will not live forever. I have buried pets, friends, a parent and two siblings. But, even with their physical absence from my life, their love lives on in me. In that moment, I realized that even then, I never “lose” anyone.
We have to date, not had to evacuate. For that I am deeply grateful and aware that it could change in any given moment. The smoke and the flames continue to billow behind our house as I write this.
If that day should ever come, I now know that I would gather the things I deeply love, my husband, my animals and my awareness of the other loved ones in my life.
I would also gather me remembering the true ground of my being. The core of me that will never be taken or destroyed. I rest in the knowledge that I take with me the Source of all Life anywhere and everywhere regardless of what may be burning in my world. In that Truth, I rest and am at peace.
I encourage you during this month of gratitude for the United States to take stock of those things that are most important to you. Let the people in your life know how much you love and appreciate them. Remember who you really are and your true source of being. Rest in the presence of a power within you that is stronger than any outside fact or condition regardless of what may be burning in your world.
And know how grateful I am to have you in my life!
Here’s to your dream,