Yesterday I had to get up at 4:30 to catch a plane to calgary. It was cold, dark and I was cranky…stomp stomp…why do I have to travel…
As I sat on the small corporate plane the pilot mentioned the northern lights were out. They turned off the cabin lights and I sat and watched the beautiful aurora borealis dance in the dark sky, surrounded by stars. On the other side of the plane the sun was beginning to peek over the horizon.
In that moment I felt deep appreciation for my life. I was on a comfortable plane, flying across the province for a meeting, watching the Northern lights. I was safe and secure. My life is unbelievably full of opportunity and potential.
Later that day my meeting was held near where we lived when we were evacuated. It’s funny how familiar sights start sneaky little thoughts.
On the flight home all I could see was the burnt trees. I was stuck in those thoughts. And I undead up talking about my evacuation experience on the plane. About my intense fear when I couldn’t find cooper and craig on the highway and the fire was burning and there was so much smoke. About the feeling of displacement. Of my strong desire to never go back to fort mcmurray again and, since that time, my deep dissatisfaction that things aren’t the same as they were.
I know that things will never be the same. I know. And I know wanting this to be different than they are is the root of suffering. But that’s how it is. I almost bask in the pain of it. It’s strange.
It’s interesting to step back and see how these varied and strong emotional states influence me. I am thankful for the moments of peace and contentment, because they are what bring me back from the episode of wallowing in self pity.i still consider I may have to move from here some days. That the natural destruction of the forest, by a fire that is really part of the natural cycle of life, might just be too much of a trigger for me. It’s possible…
But for now I step back and see the beauty that remains. And try to remember that even the burnt trees are temporary. New trees are growing. New houses are being built. New people move to town.
Different does not mean worse. Change is often good. I just can’t always see it in the moment.
Ps. Here is an illustration of the change. The same view walking up to the clubhouse at our golf course. The top is what was. It was one of the most beautiful courses…it is cut out of the trees and is along the river. The bottom is what is. Fall.