Dreaming of the mountains and wildfires

It’s 9:30 in the morning and I’m just sitting down with my first cup of coffee and a plate of eggo waffles. Why? Because, why not? My fridge is low on food and I have to place a grocery order in the next few days. I always seem to run out of the important ingredients like milk and bagels first.

I woke up around 7 am this morning and had to shut the bedroom window. It went from being 30C in here from the weekend, to now it’s about 18C. It’s cold outside – the temperature is sitting at 11C right now outside. But I love it.

I noticed last night that it was dark by 8:30 and pitch black by 9. Fall has definitely arrived early.

The smoke from the wildfires have cleared up a lot here and I can see blue sky in the distance. Our friends in BC though – that’s a different story. Kelowna, Peachland, Vernon, Kamloops and the Okagnogan area have all been hit hard by the fires. Videos have been popping up all over social media and the sky is blood red.

In all my life living in a prairie province that is not a stranger to wildfires, I have never seen a blood red sky like this. I’ve never seen smoke like this. Not even when Fort McMurray burned down a few years back. That was scary. But this – it’s devastating. My heart aches for all the wildlife who are losing their homes too.

It rained here off and on yesterday. We were all glad for the break from the smoke. I can’t even imagine what it’s like out in BC. I mean, just look at that sky. It’s so scary.

I remember visiting Jasper a few years ago after a major wildfire. Fires happen every year up in the mountains. Sometimes they are needed to burn the dry and rotting wood of the old trees. But much of the time, the fires are caused by human error.

Either someone tosses a lit cigarette butt into the grass or worse – they don’t put out their campfires properly. Or on rare occasions, the fires were set intentionally by arsonists. Nothing pisses me off more than arsonists and vandalism. They are such senseless crimes that cause so much damage.

I took this picture the last time I was in Jasper. I live about seven hours away from Jasper. I used to go up once a year to Hinton in the fall by train or bus. But Greyhound shut down and it’s harder for me to get around. The cost of accommodation also makes a weekend in the mountains really expensive. I might head out to Hinton in the fall – but it’s looking unlikely. With the asthma, I don’t think any travel is possible right now with the wildfires raging all over western Canada.

http://www.mostlysingle.com – after math of a forest fire, Jasper, AB

Even though the destruction of this wildfire was horrific, mixed with the autumn colors – the scene was quite beautiful. If you do plan on going to the mountains in September-October, do prepare for all weather. It gets really chilly in the mornings and evenings. Weather can change so fast. And that wind -it gets stronger each year.

The BC authorities are advising travelers to cancel their plans and stay out of certain parts of BC. My friend made her way to the ferries last night safe and sound. But my sister encountered some issues on the way home from Kelowna. She said Golden was a mess and some of the highways were closed which made travel difficult.

What we all need – all the western provinces – is a good solid week of heavy rain. Not flooding like out in China or Europe. But just rain. Enough rain to put out the fires.

What’s making the fires hard to put out is the wind. The wind is so strong and seems to get stronger each year. This is what makes wildfires so scary. When the wind hits and is in the right direction, an entire town can burn down. Much like we saw with the Fort McMurray fires.

The pictures I shared above were taken not long after the fires in 2016. This is just one of many videos from that fire. I remember being glued to the TV for the entire week. The escape videos from the city were so sad.

I’m not the praying kind. I really am not. But prayer is a form of meditation. And in times like this, when people are faced with losing their homes and livelihoods due to natural disasters… I often feel helpless, like I can’t do anything for them. Perhaps that’s the empath in me. I feel their pain and what they’re going through.

And so, today, I’m sending out another prayer inspired by my Shamanism teachings. A prayer for more rain, and for the people who are forced to evacuate their homes.

And a prayer and blessings for all those in other countries who have been faced with extreme weather this year. Instead of tearing each other apart, let’s take a minute and just be there for each other.

Stay safe my friends.

Here are some more pictures of my trip to Jasper in 2016. If you’d like to see more travel photos, let me know in the comments.

If you’re in BC, let me know how you are doing please.

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