We’re displaced by the wildfires of Sonoma county and all I want is a slice of normal. We’re hanging on the edge. We escaped the smoke on Saturday and drove up to Tahoe (a four-hour drive). Riding along with us was fear: will our home burn? It’s the third year in a row we are hit with this question.

We were out of power for three days. When it came back for a day we tried to catch up. But before we could relax we were alerted of strong winds pushing the fire in our direction. Jochen checked the forecast all night about where the fire might move. Unless we would be able to catch a flight, which was impossible in the chaos that erupted on the streets, we needed to head north-east. Away from the smoke and traffic. He picked Tahoe and he was right.

Sarina has a form of chronic lung disease. She was born a micro-preemie weighing one pound and fifteen ounces. We’re on high alert when she coughs or says: “my lungs itch.” When she did with a scared look on her face we packed our car and left.

 

I have learned to hang on and often way over the edge since Sarina was born almost thirty years ago. Our life has never been stable for long. All I can do is to tap into my inner resources and gather the ones close to me and guide them along.

Jochen is a decision-maker; he plans and thinks ahead to keep us safe. He worries about Sarina and our future. And what it will take to make this life work. He is a realist with a good mix of optimism and pessimism. The last one can overshadow the first.

I’m a decision-maker too, but my strengths lie in the present moment awareness. I don’t let future fears take root. I’m a dreamer, a believer, and an optimist.

I worry about Sarina, too. And when exhausted, I’m afraid time is running out to guide her to where she can live her life in harmony with others when I leave this planet. I cannot die before she belongs. But my practice is my partner. I notice fear on the spot. I identify it as what it is. An emotion with the power and speed of a race car. And I let it go. I believe letting go is a muscle we can grow!

I’m also big on hope and let it fuel my soul. As Emily Dickinson says: “let it sing without the words…”

You know the moment you become a special need parent, the word normal disappears from your life? You’ll never walk on solid ground again. You’ll never wake up without worry.

Right now, I’m frightened like everybody else; I’m anxious and tired. I wake up several times at night to check on the condition of the fires. Did it get closer to our home? Will we be able to go back home?

I have plans, commitments, and events I have been looking forward to attending. I keep them close to me for now, prepared to go and ready to accept if I can’t — I had to give up many before. 😔

💗 I know only one way how to do this all:

🌟 stay open

🌟 receive the calming energy of my breaths

🌟 notice that I am afraid and accept it

🌟 let each breath teach me that I can handle what life delivers.

🌟 embrace what I have and what’s possible — one moment at a time.

Today Wednesday, we plan to drive back to Santa Rosa and at least check on the house and refresh our belongings. If the power 🔌💡 is not back, we’ll decide what to do next. We trust our neighbor, he called saying the air is o.k. up on our hill. Masks in case of smoke are our companions.

My heart goes out to the ones who lost so much and are still struggling with this tragedy.

Thanks for being my friends on this journey. Keep sending your support as we reenter.

I hope for a slice of normal.