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Santa Rosa Fire: 72 Hoursdawson evac ctr

It's funny how the mind plays tricks on you. 72 hours after escaping from the fire that consumed our house, I'm packing for a trip. For a year I’ve been booked to deliver the closing keynote at the Canadian Energy Psychology conference in Vancouver this coming weekend, followed by a three-day EFT trauma training. With family and friends taking care of so much, I’m now able to leave, only a day later than planned.

I have a routine before my many trips, workshops, and keynote speeches. I pack exactly the same things. The list has been honed so carefully over the years that I can now do a six-week European teaching trip with only a carry-on bag.

My mind keeps thinking thoughts like, “I need to pack the soft black microfiber shirts I wear during healing sessions. Did I pick up my pants from the dry cleaners? Will my favorite silver jacket crush if I don’t carry it on board the plane? I must put my headphones in my pocket.”

Then I realize that I don’t have a silver jacket. Or any shirts, pants, or headphones. I don’t even have a suitcase. Even though it's been three days since the fire, it's taking a long time to adjust.

Just 72 hours ago. I didn’t possess a pair of socks. When we ran from the house, fire all around us, all I grabbed was my phone, my laptop, and Christine’s hand. No power cords, no toiletries, no treasured possessions.

Some little piece of my mind was calculating away the moment I realized how fast the flames were spreading. “I have time to get either shoes or socks but not both.” Shoes. “I have time to either grab my laptop or find the nearest power cord in the darkness.” Laptop.

My wife, Christine, made the same calculations. When we got to safety, we realized she was wearing a jacket but no shirt. In the emergency her mind was making the same subconscious calculations. Jacket or shirt? Jacket.

Today I look through my old To Do list on my laptop and laugh. The things that seemed so high a priority 72 hours ago seem trivial today.

I think occasionally about the possessions we lost. The 1872 edition of the the complete works of Sir Walter Scott, all 24 volumes. My grandfather’s tintype photos from 1890. All the watercolors I painted. The 1,200 neatly organized folders of art lessons that made up Christine’s art business. My red 1974 Jensen Healey.

I don’t miss any of it; life is infinitely more precious. I’m excited about doing some clothes shopping. Growing up in a very poor family taught me to be frugal and never throw things away until they're worn out or ripped. So the notion of getting a complete new wardrobe is exciting.

Yesterday I went to the shelter. So many clothes have been donated that they don’t know what to do with them all. Looking through them brought back memories from when I was 5 years old and getting my clothes from the “missionary barrel” at church.

dawson and tall donorNone of the clothes at the local shelter fit me, because I’m so tall! Realizing this, the shelter director phoned a friend of hers called Scott. A couple of hours later, this fellow giant came over with a duffel bag of clothes. One of the shelter’s anonymous benefactors gave me $1,000 to buy a complete professional outfit so I could look sharp for my upcoming presentations. Bless his heart. I want to look great at the conference, and I don't plan to carry the energy of loss or misfortune.

I’d predicted in my Facebook post right after the fire that the death toll being reported was much too low. The fire spread so quickly it defied belief. A news report said that it had been traveling the length of a football field every 3 seconds. I saw one or two cars get out behind us, but I knew that many of our neighbors must have been overtaken by the fire. Our hearts go out to all who lost so much in this tragedy.

Yet even though the fires are still raging in some parts of the county, we see people picking themselves up and starting over. The folks next door to where we are staying started a remodeling project yesterday.

My heart is overflowing with gratitude this morning. I lived through one of the worst disasters in my area. Christine and I escaped with seconds to spare. Christine with crossI have a wonderful wife and family. I wake up in love every day. I feel guided by the Great Spirit every moment. The day after the fire Christine and I meditated for a long hour and we re-visioned the fire as an opening for the Universe to bring wonderful new things into our lives. Life is precious, and fire or no fire, we can choose to revel in its sweetness every day.

—Dawson

 

Santa Rosa Fire Blog Posts by Dawson Church:

Click here to learn about the GoFundMe campaign to help us keep EFT Universe running during the transition to rebuilding.

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