As 2009 comes to an end, I look back at all the changes it brought to so many forest dwellers. The Station Fire began modestly enough, but, like all things that cause great change, it caught everyone by surprise. I know I will never forget the snow of ash, the red air swirling around me, or the fear and amazement I felt as I fled for my life, one eye on the road ahead and the other glued to the vision of the roaring inferno behind me as it destroyed nearly everything in its path.
Since August 29, no one in the Angeles has been the same. Animals and people alike are struggling to survive. Most of us lost everything – homes, family mementos, collections, artifacts, antiques, photos… all the tangible things we held dear. Some have been able to move forward from those losses more easily than others, but none of us has had an easy time. It will take years to restore some semblance of normalcy, but I don’t think any of us will truly “recover”. How could we? Continue reading →