Tara Nanayakkara

The Video That Did It

It was the video that did it! Plunged my heart into deep sadness.  With mounting shock and dread I watched the streamed footage of someone's home become shrouded in smoke. First the flames, a terrifying white hot monster gouging out the window and then consuming what appeared to be the family room. Grasping it in its flaming jaws of destruction.

At the beginning of the clip, the family room is in tact. Who knows? Maybe a few short hours ago, someone was sitting on the brown sofa, enjoying a cup of tea while flipping through the paper.  At some point before Tuesday May 3rd, the  owners felt safe and secure in their cozy corner of the world.  Most of us do when we settle down on the sofa to watch TV, read a book or simply chat with someone. If you can't feel safe in your own house, where can you?

To say that my heart goes out to the people of Fort McMurray would sound like nothing more than a hollow cliche. To my mind, they come across as cheap words. These people invested their lives, hopes and dreams into their homes. They shopped for furniture, looked at floor samples and panned their decor based on their personal tastes. They hosted parties, they celebrated special occasions and planned their next vacations, all in the comfort of their own homes.

Nature took that away from them in one continuous fell swoop of burning brush and bush. They left their homes with the stark knowledge that they might never see them again. Wedding albums, baby pictures, awards, Christmas and birthday gifts from years past, favourite clothes, books and toys all snatched by the merciless ravages of a forest gone flaming mad.

Even with all our high tech toys, steel-clad structures and the brilliant minds who fashioned and designed the best software to make them all possible, humanity is no match for the wrath of mother nature.

To hear that a wildfire is so powerful that it can create its own weather patterns is positively eerie. What Northern Alberta is experiencing now is a catastrophe of Biblical proportions. The only thing, living or inanimate that will never be defeated by fire is mother nature's own tears.  Rain when it comes with all its thunderous glory will douse that fire once and for all. When the heavens weep with sorrow for the scorched land, blackened trees and charred remains of man's material dreams, then hope will renew and then like the phoenix rising from the ashes, Fort McMurray will be reborn.

God Bless that land.