It seems that everywhere we turn, humans are being humbled by Mother Nature lately. We’ve been reminded of just how much we take for granted a safe place to live, clean water to drink, roads to drive on, stocked grocery stores, clean air to breathe, and the safety net of stability that these amenities provide us. Stripped of these amenities we feel wobbly, uncertain, and anxious about what will come next. Here in our mountain home, we have been seriously humbled by a wildfire that is dangerously close to our home and the homes of many of our dear friends. Some have had to leave their homes and spend weeks watching and waiting for the smoke to clear. Others like us have relocated our irreplaceable belongings and animals and then returned to hold our breath and wait. While this has been a humbling experience on many levels, it has also been inspiring and reaffirming too. So many have stepped up to help others any way we can. Nearly 1,000 firefighters have come from all over to help protect our homes, water and forests. These people are angels. I have been inspired by the creativity and kindness I’ve seen in our little community and I know there are countless stories like this in the other parts of the world facing natural disasters.
What is this phenomenon?
We’ve all seen it. When sh*t hits the fan, people generally drop their differences and show up. Strangers help strangers. Communities pull together in a whole new way. People take time to do the little things that really matter. They call. They do a little extra. They get creative about ways to solve problems. True colors come out. I have a theory about this…
Pain and suffering wipes away everything but what’s real. And the true nature of life is love.
That may sound a little woo woo or overly Pollyanna, but it’s true. Think of a baby. Their true nature is just love. There are no malicious intentions (despite what it can feel like when they wake up for the fifth time screaming in the middle of the night). It’s still just a basic love energy there. Or how about any animal or plant in nature. No flower is thinking, “Look at the sunflowers over there growing so tall. Who do they think they are?” They just grow. They don’t resent the birds for eating their seeds or the deer from nibbling their leaves. It just is and it’s all for the greater good.
It’s as if subconsciously, by experiencing fear, pain, grief, and suffering as a community, we are shaken awake. As it says in the Namaste blessing, “I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides…. because it is also in me. In sharing these things, we are united. We are the same. We are one.”
I love the community we live in. Our friends and neighbors are like family to us. I knew before this experience that they had my back and we had theirs. That said, we all fall into the trap of getting wrapped up in the pettiness of day-to-day life. It is a shame that it takes something like this to wake us up and rekindle the sparks of inspiration, ingenuity, creativity, service, and connection. But I am grateful to the experience for shaking us awake again. And for reminding us of what is real and what matters most. Just like our forests will green up following the fire, my wish is that these humbled communities will emerge from these experiences with newfound gratitude, strength and inspiration.
Excuse me now while I go back to my rain dancing. 😉