I first heard of yesterday's brush fire when a friend called to say, "I think you may have a problem. There's a fire near your home. Let me know if I can help."
I walked into the lobby of the agency where I work. Already television news showed live footage of the fire. I recognized the area. My friend was right. The fire was near my home. I left work immediately. The ordinarily forty minute drive home took over two hours. I had plenty of time to think about the meaning of possessions.
I had even more time to think about the meaning of friends. Those thoughts were interrupted by another friend calling to check on our well being and to offer, should the need arise, shelter. Finally home, I watched water dumping helicopters make back and forth trips from the fire to reservoirs or ponds of lakes -- to anyplace with enough water to fill the buckets.
This morning more friends called or dropped by to say, "Don't forget...anytime you need something...Everything okay..."
Here in high fire danger land we get frequent reminders of shelter's fragility and of friendship's power.