Sitting in the railroad station. The train is; I’m just on the train. I had wanted to dash in and try to connect to the Internet while we were stopped, but the conductress warned me that we’d be stopped only a few minutes. That was about twenty-five minutes ago. Guess I’ll arrive late to Charlotte.

Took a few minutes to call home, and the news is all bad.The Huachucas are burning down, and now a new fire has begun on the fort.

I cannot even begin to say how I feel. I wrote “Gutpunched” a few weeks ago when I saw the fire up in the Chiricahuas. Debbie had that gutpunch reaction when she saw it after arriving home from New Orleans. I can’t even begin to imagine what my reaction will be.

The Chiricahua fire was emotional, personal. And this one is so much more. It is twenty miles from my home. I know the roads, the canyons, the trails. I have spent time admiring the coatamundi. I’ve stolen a piñon pine.

I look out at these mountains each morning and each evening. When I’m fortunate enough to be home during the day, I gaze at them off and on. I sit on my patio in the evening with a glass of wine, watching the sun set over these mountains. And now they are burning up.

Friends of mine live- make that lived – in these mountains. They have lost their homes. At this time, over twelve thousand people have been evacuated. Twelve thousand! That’s over fifteen percent of the area. 

The fire has jumped fire lines and highways. It will not be tamed. If all goes completely terribly, it could roar through Rio Vista and burn up our uninsured house. It could then scream over the mountain and take out Old Bisbee.

This is not likely. But it strikes fear into my heart. 

I remember the fire in Old Biz a few years ago. How the fire started on one side of the mountain, crossed over the top, and tried to head back over again. It was terrifying, and in comparison to the inferno in the Huachucas, it was nothing. 

I want to be home. I do Reiki. I want to learn CPR and some basic first aid. I do this because I want to help when there is an emergency situation. 

And now there is an emergency situation. It is almost on my doorstep and I am not there. I am on the east coast. On a pleaure excursion. While Cochise County burns down.

The question now becomes this: When I reach Raleigh, do I go on with my plans, or do I go home? At this point I am split. What good can I possibly do? Likely, not much. I could Reiki like crazy, but I can do that from here. I could do some flyovers with Steve and take photos and do some writing. So what. I could maybe help people move their stuff out, but I am not sure I’m really needed for that. 

But if I stay here, I will feel so helpless. So. Very. Helpless. Would it feel better for me to feel helpless at home?

Published by Emilie

I'm a retired instructor from a community college where I taught Developmental English and Reading as well as English as a Second Language. I'm also now a published author of a bilingual children's book entitled. Luisa the Green Sea Turtle - Luisa la Tortuga Verde del Mar. It's available from me, through Amazon, and is in a few (more and more each day!) bookstores.

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  1. So sorry that is happening. I know how you love the area where you live…and all of Mother Earth. Yes, what CAN you do? Tell Paul to load up what you would evacuate, and leave the rest to him. Enjoy being with your family in NC. Sure wish that we could have made it, too. Off to spend some time with Grace this weekend.

    Hang in.

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