Inside The Fire

If you haven’t heard about the Wallow Fire in North Eastern Arizona recently, then you may not exactly like the news or don’t have ties to the state. I do. I have my southern roots not born into me, but grown into by spending a decade in Texas from the age of 17 on. But I was born and raised in Arizona and of course moved around in the state too. In about 1995-96 certain circumstances and situations drove my mom to making the decision of moving us to the small town of Show Low. I spent not a long time there, but a time in my life that forever changed who I originally thought I was. And if nothing else, I spent a great deal of my teenage years in the high country, which says a lot within itself.

I’ve waited some time in posting this piece and tossed it back and forth about whether I should actually do it. I see no joy or glory in posting enjoyable memories from my past, when so many others present is currently being so harshly affected. But I want so badly to tell the stories, to paint the pictures of my memories so that there is good left after this beast of a fire.

You see the high country of Arizona has once been charred (unfortunately quite literally) by such a massive and faceless attack, that my heart aches, that the places I love and hold dearly will never look the same. You may have seen the surreal pictures of the Wallow Fire, like below. Maybe not. And I only hope you have seen the beauty of this land prior to the destruction.

wallow fire

PHOTO BY: Wayne Clement/Guadalupe Fire Department/US Forest Service

But unfortunately what you will not see is the beauty I saw when my family and I would take scenic drives up there for no good reason. Or the perfection I saw when my best friend and I would go hiking up there; he would tell me the view would be worth it while I gasped for air, then gasped at the beautiful view. Or the bliss and love, when my husband took me up to Mt. Baldy over a decade ago to propose. Or the freedom Mt. Baldy brought during the school 6th grade field trip.

Those things will never be the same. Those pictures of what it looked like before will never tell the personal stories. And all that is left is devastation and horrific images. The past erased so swiftly by ignorance and complete mindlessness. I chose to cherish the memories I have and keep them close to my heart. And I urge you to consider donating to anyone who may suffer due to the Wallow Fire, along with donations to aid those battling the monster. (AZ Central & Antique Sugar)

And for those that just don’t remember because of, well, stupidity:

smokey the bear