When Fire Threatened Our House (Seeing Life By Fire Light)

A few weeks ago, a fire threatened our house yet again.

Two years ago, because of another wildfire, we had to evacuate our home with a four- and one-yr-old at 2am.

Last year, a fire moved so close to our house that we had to actually pack and be ready to evacuate again.

And then for the third time, this year we were so close to a wildfire that we could see the fire trucks from our house (not to mention hear the helicopters and fire planes flying over our roof all night—those puppies are loud and will get your heart rate up like nothing else!).

I’m sharing this today because I’ve now had several experiences of having to look around this house and decide what I’d grab if we had to go.

The funny thing is, I actually LOVE this exercise. I LOVE seeing—in a real life emergency situation—what’s actually important to me! What are the things I can live without? What is precious and irreplaceable? What really matters?

antique dresser with eucalyptus and candle on top
How to streamline your space!

And even cooler is that our kids are learning this as well. They’re learning which of their toys are irreplaceable to them (usually just a special doll or stuffed animal). They’ve witnessed their parents being calm when facing fire and have learned to be calm too. They’ve been woken up in the middle of the night by mama, calmly helping them scoop some clothes into a backpack and climb into the car in their jammies for a new adventure. They’re learning that our house may burn down, and mommy and daddy are totally fine with that as long as we’re all together and safe.

When fires threaten this house, we’ve had conversations where they ask “What about X” and “What about Z?” Our kids are actually thinking through the reality of what would happen if X and Z burned in a fire. They’re processing that idea. We talk through what’s replaceable and what’s not replaceable. And we watch them come to the conclusion that yes, it will all be okay because

  1. most everything is replaceable, and
  2. the most important thing is that we’re safe together.
kids at white double desk with white drawers in craft room
See our art + homeschool space here.

Honestly, I love the exercise of having to walk through my house and getting to see everything in this new “fire light.” And it’s not the same as pretending to do it—nothing beats doing it literally in the heat of the moment!

It does things like

  • helps me to see which clothes in my closet I’d actually want to wear for weeks on end if necessary. (One of the greatest helps in having a minimal wardrobe! Seeing what I truly love to wear!)
  • helps me see the things around me that I get concerned about in the light of reality (which is that they’re not worth worrying about if I’m 100% okay with them being burned up).

And—should our house actually burn down—my brain plans out the new adventure our family would have to embark on. (That’s just how my brain has learned to work in certain situations: imagine the worst & find the positives.)

So, no longer am I afraid of the fires that come during the windy, dry fire season here. It is–odd as it may sound–a welcome season for me.

Fire has a way of showing things as they really are, and clearing my vision. Even though it may turn out being painful, I’m at peace with it burning away all that doesn’t matter and leaving me with what truly does.

And THAT is the kind of life I want!


PS: You can see all of our home projects here!

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