First of all, the herd here at Infinity Farm is fine and very grateful to say so. The high side of the national news focusing on Colorado Springs and the Waldo Canyon fire is that we all get reminded that friends in other places care about us. Thank you.
The Waldo Canyon wildfire started 6 days ago; they all start small. Some say Colorado has been in a drought cycle the last few years, some say that global warming causes global disasters. Either way, there are about a dozen fires burning in Colorado now and ours is the most destructive.
About two days in, the fire took off bucking like rank stock, bolting three directions at once and kicking up a smoke cloud so hot and thick and dark- that the sun got spooked. The fire tripled in size that day. We were all intimidated, except the firefighters who seemed to find a new commitment. Braver than brave, and tougher than tough. Words fail me in the face of such heroes.
Do you have an evacuation plan for your barn? I did, but it didn’t give me much comfort. I second guessed and worried. Some things had changed since the plan was made, how would I compensate? Would the old horses do okay? How much time would I have?
The next morning the fire headed off in another direction. I confess a giant sigh of relief, followed by a dose of guilt- knowing the fire was headed towards others. Currently the fire is about 15 miles from us and not pushing this way. For now.
Hundreds of homes have been lost, thousands of acres of forest destroyed, along with the animals that live there. As time passes the list of casualties will grow, but I do take comfort from our friends and neighbors offering help- and asking for mine. Our community has blossomed with volunteers and donations, everyone doing the best job possible of helping each other. Waldo Canyon has impacted each of us personally, but somehow most of us feel fortunate. Our hearts burn stronger than fire.
The fire is apparently quite photogenic- especially the night shots. We are inundated with very dramatic photos of bright rage and destruction. Angry sunsets, fire racing down mountainsides, and ash where a family used to live. So much loss, so many teary faces. The photos are posted and re-posted, I am sure I’ve seen some of the photos dozens of times. I posted one myself a few days back. Our burned acres seem to extend around the globe.
The photos are burned into our memory, too, and I have seen enough. It isn’t that I’m squeamish; no one with horses has that luxury. But at some point the flames become gratuitous, and I’m at that point.
A few weeks after 9/11, we started to hear the psychological opinion that watching footage of planes crashing into the towers again and again might not be the healthiest rerun to watch. By the time that information got to me, I was so depressed I couldn’t ride. Yes, I can get that depressed.
I know we will be fighting this fire, in one way or another, from now on. Maybe it’s time to discipline ourselves a bit. It isn’t going to put out the fire if we stop posting photos of it, but it might be a start.
We love you, Colorado. More than ever.
Anna Blake, Infinity Farm.