The Road to 65, Mile 257: Desert Wildfire, Day 3

August 12, 2015, Mohave Valley-  Wherever there are unicorns, there are also dragons.  Where there is joy, sorrow and rage are not far away. Light is accompanied by shadow. I prefer, I insist, that the former will outlast the latter, because that’s how life goes on.

The fire has been reduced to hot spots, which are being monitored, 24/7, by a very capable local fire department.  As always happens in a community that prides itself on independence, there is gratitude towards the local first responders, and grumbling towards the Federal presence, in this case, the Bureau of Land Management.  A government that seems distant, both physically and ideologically, is an easy target, and so it has been here.  The perception, among many who have come by for food, clothing and comfort is that the Feds didn’t seem to care about them, or about their property.  The Gold King mine mishap is thrown in, for good measure, as “eventually, that stuff will find its way down here, en route to the Gulf of California.”

It’s hard for people who are themselves overwhelmed, to see the situations of others- no matter which rung of the ladder we occupy.  I was fortunate to have been raised by parents who instilled the viewing of the situation of the other, in me.  Being the oldest of five made it more urgent.

Having to deal with the local bete noire, yesterday, put this whole concept to the test.  I went through six months, last winter and spring, of being patient and forbearing with someone whom nobody else seemed to want.  These folks are sent to us by a Creator Who desires only to see our full potentials realized.  This, I understand; it was just that, at the end of a long day in the heat, I had trouble waiting for a well-rested, fastidious case worker to complete the process with a needy, isolated and very edgy outcast.  I went back to the truck, turned on the A/C, and saved myself, while keeping the window cracked open enough to hear what was going on.  She completed the matter, thirty minutes later, and the four of us left the man, who felt more accepted, and headed home.  I guess this is one of the lessons that Christ meant to impart, when He worked on Lazarus, and on Mary Magdalene.

There are issues in any community, on any given street, and within any household which has more than one occupant.  In the Fire This Time, we, as a team, did well by the town of Mohave Valley.  After a day largely spent cleaning the gym floor of the temporarily closed Mohave Valley Elementary School, three of us volunteers headed home.  As we left town, a swirl of burned-out desert dust rose high in the air, causing our Team Lead to call in a “possible re-sparked fire”.  It turned out to be just a dust devil, with burned material, almost giving us a farewell, of sorts.

We stopped up the road apiece, at Westside Lilo’s, a homey, relaxed German restaurant, in Seligman, and decompressed with some fine sandwiches, served by an engaging and spirited young woman.  I always enjoy a good bratwurst, and a pretty smile.  The rain, which our driver had feared, seems to have preceded us, and it was an easy drive back to Prescott.

Goodnight, and it looks like tomorrow will be a bit of a respite, before the next big thing.

6 thoughts on “The Road to 65, Mile 257: Desert Wildfire, Day 3

  1. I’m so glad you were able to help out after (amidst) the fire. I have always thought it must be devastating to go home and find you have nothing to go home to!


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