Saturday, September 5, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - Fire

Today I was more scared that I've ever been. I'm blogging tonight from the a comforting home of a friend, smelling soot and ash from my laptop that is likely ruined. My apartment building caught fire today.

I'm fine. Most of my belongings are fine. At around 1:00pm I heard the floor of my kitchen crackling and the floor began to heave. I grabbed my keys and went downstairs to tell my neighbor to stop doing whatever he was doing. And then the stairwell filled with thick black smoke.

I couldn't see anything - it was as if I had a blindfold on. I got as low as I could, scrambled down three flights, and yelled as loud as I could. Apparently my yelling helped some of my neighbors get out of the building. No smoke alarms went off, or at leas none of the ones I pass on my way downstairs.

It was a curious thing. I felt like I was flying down those stairs, as if someone was carrying me. My apartment is largely untouched, despite that most of my neighbors around me have apartments that are virtually destroyed. And just this morning I was talking about the importance of renters' insurance and how I'd never had anything like a house fire happen to me. It's all a bit eerie. I'm worried I may never feel at home in that apartment again and yet, I'm also very much aware that someone, somewhere was and is protecting me.

My greatest fear was that I'd pass out on the stairs, dying from smoke inhalation. And even though I got a face full of soot, I never once felt like I was suffocating. I only had the fear of suffocating. Very different. Truthfully, I came out that front door with a scratch, bump, or bruise on me. I was just fine. Only shaken.

And now I wonder if this one event is enough. As if I weren't already painfully aware of time passing by, now I think I might be turning a corner, again, in my quest for a whole, joyful life. It seems that now I really don't have any reason to be afraid. That there is no time like the present to grab ahold of everything I ever wanted to do or be. A few more minutes in that building, and the ending of my story could have been much different. I might not be writing this blog post tonight.

We're all always on borrowed time. Now, it seems impossible to me that I could ever forget that. And for this borrowed time, I am most grateful. I learned today that I really don't need any possessions I have. All I needed was my health. I just needed to be okay. The rest can be replaced. All of it. Amazing how it takes something so traumatic to truly know something so basic.

Already I feel the gloom lifting and the light settling in. Already I know that I will be more than okay, that today I begin never, ever looking back. Today I start moving forward with a new energy to build the greatest life I possibly can. And again, I feel like I am flying, as if someone is carrying me. And I know they are.


COL said...

shwoo. glad you are safe and sound. what a scare. may the clarity and gratitude stay with you. love and hugs xo col

lindan said...

Christa! What incredible instincts you have and what a wake up call indeed. You are a hero as you rallied the others in the building. We take so much for granted but nobody should have to go to such extremes to realize that. So glad to know that you're safe.

s said...

Hi Christa,

That sounds so scary. I am so glad that you are ok! I am sure you are blessed with many angels.
I just happened to read your blog about Brooke's show, and after I signed up for your blog it took me to your latest blog.
Happy thoughts and blessings your way! Today is a new beginning.

Cheerio!, Anthee

Julie said...

Christa! Sweetie - I am so relieved you are ok! What am amazing woman you are! I love your spiritual outlook and deep sense of knowing what is important. You're such a good example to me! I hope you find a new place soon. I have another friend in NY whose building caught fire last week as well. That would be weird if it was the same apt. building. Let me know if I can help somehow. Maybe you should move to DC. :)

Nikita said...

Thank God you are okay!

Christa said...

Hi Anthee! So glad you read about Brooke's show. I just adore her - and so happy about her well-deserved success. :)

Christa said...

Hey Jewels,
You're the best! Today is the first day that I actually feel like I'm back on the productivity wagon. Thank goodness! :)

Come visit soon!!!


Christa said...

Thanks, Col! I have been overwhelmed with gratitude since that scary Saturday a few weeks ago. I don't think I'll ever, ever be the same.