When the wildfires struck San Diego this past fall, I was forced to evacuate. I literally had 50 minutes to pack my kid, my cat, and clothes before we were told to evacuate. I’d never before been evacuated from my home, and found that this task was not an easy one. Adding to my difficulty was the view from my bedroom window — thick black smoke hid the early morning sun. Ash drifted like a light coating of snow on the ground. Wind buffeted my home and drove the smell of smoke deep into the house. Our eyes burned, our throats itched, and we were all scared.
Several months have passed and I find that my physical experience — cleaning house and leaving it behind, taking only what was most important — has prompted a more spiritual house cleaning. I am driven like never before to inspect the small details of my life and determine which of those are working and which are not. It seems the paring down of my existence to the bare essentials during the wildfires has likewise led me to do the same in my own being.
The hitch? Change is not an overnight sensation. It is slow and arduous and I have yet to make the changes I desire. Mind you, I am reminded daily of what is wrong and unneeded in my life. But making the change, that is another story. Seeing is easy. Doing is the challenge. This conflict is quite uncomfortable.