When I hung up, the nameless man looked at me with compassion and concern, "I'm so sorry," he said, having overheard enough of the conversation to believe, along with me, that my home was gone.
From within the store, we were beginning to meet others from our community that had been evacuated--most assured that their homes were gone. My friend's husband urged us to stay outside of the county as the smoke was chokingly thick. We were all determined to get into the county.
We were quite confident that my friend's home was gone, as her husband had very little notice to get out as flames forced their way up the hillside and the sheriff evacuated the neighborhood. This meant that Sarah's car was also incinerated, as that was where she parked for the trip.
Glued to social media for the rest of the journey was heart rending--I was sure I knew hundreds of people affected. Coming into the county was an ominous site. It reminded me of pictures of volcanoes--raining ash with soot-covered vehicles passing through the orangish brown haze.
Jim picked me up as the rest of the group found their way to their temporary homes. The details of conversations are sketchy in my memory, but I was able to settle into the farm feeling safe, sad and disconnected from my community.
JoAnn Saccato, MA is a mindfulness teacher, author, life coach, educator, and consultant in Northern California. She is author of Companioning the Sacred Journey and the forthcoming Mindful and Intentional Living: A Path to Peace, Clarity and Freedom