On my drive home tonight I felt my heart jump as I noticed flames in the distance. I knew it was probably just a controlled fire but after last summer flame still make me jumpy. As I drove past I looked off at the large burning pile of brush and realized I need to get over this fear. I use to love fires and I want to be able to enjoy sitting around a bonfire once again.
I started thinking about fire and how it can be so useful when controlled but how much destruction it can cause when out of control. It is one of those things that can be good or bad depending on the circumstances. I have witnessed over the years when it has caused damage but it wasn't until last summer that I experienced that first hand.
Up until last summer fire had more good memories than bad. I use to love having bonfires; watching the flames just dancing in the darkness. I was always the one who would throw something on the fire and laugh as it exploded and scared everyone else. My favorite prom memory was after the prom building a giant fire with my friends. There have been nights I have built a small fire just for myself and sat and enjoyed the night.
My brain knows that a bonfire isn't the same as the fire that damaged our belongings but it's hard to get past it. I don't want to wonder with each flicker of a flame if it is going to get out of control and destroy something. I don't want to get scared every time I smell smoke. I don't want to think the worse all of the time.
Last week was the first time I had been around a bonfire since the fire. I was a little nervous at first, I kept joking with my dad that maybe it wasn't a smart idea given our bad luck. We were burning branches from some pine trees we had chopped down that had the potential to fall on our house. After a little while I settled down and helped with keeping it burning.
At the back of my mind though I never could remove the thought, what if? I know that this isn't always going to be this way, the memory is already starting to not be as strong. I'm thankful that I now have more of a respect for fire. Fire can be an amazing thing when controlled but very destructive when out of control. I makes me ponder how many other elements of our life are the same.