You cannot put a Fire out —
A Thing that can ignite
Can go, itself, without a Fan —
Upon the slowest Night —
Rain is something that we naturally take for granted. Many of us have even found ourselves ungrateful for the rain. It looks dreary outside, it’s leaving streaks all over my newly cleaned car, etc. The Southwest is well-known for our high temperatures and record number of sunny days, but these descriptions are beginning to feel more like a curse than a gift. Albuquerque has received less than 3 inches of rain since January and with our temperatures reaching the 90’s and 100’s daily, whatever moisture we might have retained is absolutely gone. Drought.
I know it’s a small picture, but Albuquerque is somewhere in that orange and red section, the sections depicting Severe and Extreme Drought. The maroon section that covers most of the state is entitled Exceptional Drought. It’s like they couldn’t find a word that seemed harsh enough to describe its conditions, so they chose ‘exceptional’. It’s interesting, the first two definitions for exceptional in the dictionary are these:
- Forming an exception or rare instance; unusual; extraordinary.
- Unusually excellent; superior.
Perhaps I should see it as we have a superior level of drought! That’s much more positive, right? In reality, exceptional means this: wildfire.
Driving home from Colorado Sunday night, my mom noticed a red glow visible in the pitch black darkness. It was eerie, unearthly, and almost calm. I couldn’t believe it. Another wildfire. Not to mention the major wildfire that has been raging in Arizona for a month, New Mexico and now Colorado is dotted with wildfires, a new one every couple days. Even before the wildfires, I washed my car with one of my close friends, Jordan, and as we washed off our cars, we noticed that we would have to spray the hose and immediately wipe off our cars or else the water would evaporate. Smoke clouds the atmosphere; officials are encouraging people to spend as little time outdoors as they can. A couple weeks ago, my family looked outside to see the full moon was a blood red. It looked truly apocalyptic.
It’s heartbreaking to read the reports about the evacuations families are forced to make. For some in New Mexico, this isn’t the first time they’ve left their homes not knowing if they will ever see them again.
“Last time, I just walked out of my house and said goodbye, and that it was going to be OK,” she said before breaking down in tears. “I’m doing the same thing this time. It’s going to be OK. I’m prepared to say goodbye.”
I am so blessed to be living the life I lead. I have a home. I have parents and a big family who looks after me and takes care of me. I have a sweet dog who I love with all of my heart. I have food and water and I know that I have a place to lay my head down tomorrow. It’s times like this that make you stop and remember how blessed you truly are.
Please keep the families affected by wildfires in your prayers. They’re going to need them.
Some say the world will end in fire;
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.