Well it has been the strangest day for me.
Initially I thought I had achieved nothing.
Now that the evening meal is finished and I have the time to reflect I realise the gifts the day has brought.
I cancelled the yoga class, knowing my voice and body could not last the hour and a half class. No focus or clarity you see. So we sat in the morning sunlight, the Yoga students and I and we talked and laughed.
I put eye drops in a friends eyes. ( they were irritated by the smoke.)
I laughed with a friend and neighbour and thanked him for making me feel safe as we worked together.
I hosed off the Uniforms and hung then in the sun.
A neighbour walking her dog past stopped to ask after us.
She explained that something had woken her minutes after midnight, she new not what and then fell back into sleep. Not believing that she had slept through it.
( And assured me the home owners were insured.)
This evening I was given a hug by a colleague and friend who arrived full of concern about how we were, the fella and I. She had just heard the news from the post mistress.
Striding down the hill,another couple of volunteer fire fighters, “yes I’ve had a sleep and feel much better now”. Two more “Firies”and we all conferred on
last nights fire. Having related our roles, in the smoke heat and confusion, we could not always know what other brigade members were doing, we spoke on how we could improve things. This was for most of us the first structure fire we have had to attend in our village.
Someone’s home someones shelter, someones life changed forever as the rest of the village slept. Even though she would have been in shock the lady home owner called to us as we arrived “Be careful, be careful there are gas bottles around the side of the house.”
Our village is small and we are blessed with the back up we received from other Volunteer Fire Brigades, the Ambulance and Police, Search and Rescue. How lucky we are to have them arriving quickly.
The sense of sadness lingers like the smell of smoke ,that is faintly whisping around the rooms. The people who have lost their home. We could not save it, we were able to stop it spreading to surrounding homes. I wish to thank the wind for not blowing, the moon for lighting the night,( flashing lights on stationary fire trucks can’t cover it all and the fire is often masked by billowing smoke.) And the cold air for descending, (would be a frost in the valleys by morning. Though my teeth were chattering at one stage.(cold or shock or adrenalin wearing off, I do not know.) I am thankful that the house had space around it, enough for us to drag our fire hoses around. That they were not on tank water, mains pressure provides a good water supply.
Thank you to the people who are the team called Volunteer Fire Brigade, who call up unknown strengths in me and have such big hearts. For the couple who have lost home and the easy structure of their lives, I wish you courage and Hope.