View of the HIgh Park Fire from the pasture.

Northern Colorado is burning up.

Our sky looks like something out of a Hollywood disaster flick.

Smoke has been thick and foul.

A thin layer of ash covers patio tables and car tops.

By late Sunday night the estimate was over twenty thousand acres have been destroyed by this aggressive fire that remains zero percent controlled.

In a news conference, Sheriff Justin Smith said, “Mother Nature is running this show.”

At this point, fire crews are working like mad to evacuate families living in the path of the flames, and save homes and other structures. People have to leave with absolutely no assurance that their homes and belongings will be there when they are allowed to return.

I can’t imagine what that must be like.

Since we started hearing about the fire on Saturday, I’ve been stirred up.

I feel unsettled.

Sad.

Terribly worried about the people pouring out of the mountains with nothing more than a pickup filled with their belongings.

Terribly worried about the animals left behind.

Terribly worried about the wildlife that also make these mountains their home.

It’s made me think about what in the world I would quickly gather to take with me if I had to flee my home.

What matters most?

I’ve always said that people are more important than things to me. I still believe that. Of course I would want my peeps and animals to be safe. That would be first on my list.

But beyond that, what would I try to save?

There are the obvious things like photo albums, personal mementos, and jewelry perhaps, though I don’t have much of significant value or that couldn’t be replaced.

The computer, which these days seems to hold a lot of my life behind its flickering screen.

Important documents.

Some artwork, maybe.

Clothing and other personal care items to simplify day-to-day life as an evacuee.

All told, it isn’t that much.

Not when I think about everything that surrounds me.

This horrible disaster makes a good case for simplifying one’s life.

Or at the very least to be well organized and able to quickly put your hands on the important things.

What would be on your list?

What would you take?

Heartfelt blessings to all who are so personally touched by this fire.

And a huge thank- you to the professionals and volunteers who are working so tirelessly.

It looks as if it’s going to be a long, hot summer.

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