Fire is an amazing (and terrifying) force of nature. Our ancestors relied on fire for warmth, protection and for food preparation purposes. This is still true for many people in the world.
Fire, however, can also destroy, ravage, scorch and kill.
All eyes are on the raging fire burning rapidly through Cape Town’s southern peninsula:
People are evacuating their homes, and there has already been considerable damage to the vegetation and to properties. Sadly, many animals are dying in the flames.
I am glad to see that the general public is being so generous with their emotional and physical support for our fire fighters and other rescue service personnel. These people must be so exhausted. Yet, they are not giving up.
Imagine facing a fire so fierce that even experts describe as ‘unstoppable’ and ‘uncontrollable’.
Have you ever felt that a situation was helpless, hopeless?
I came across a picture of an exhausted fire fighter who was taking a quick drink of water. During his break he noticed, just a few metres away from where he was standing, a small tortoise that was about to be burned alive. This fire fighter was clearly exhausted, filthy and dripping with sweat from the extreme heat. He dropped his water and raced towards the tortoise. He got to the tortoise in time and handed the small creature to another fire fighter so that the tortoise could be taken out of the danger area.
Fires can be really scary. The amount of damage that they can cause can be indescribable and unquantifiable. But, there’s something quite interesting about fires … Land becomes stronger and more fertile after a fire. Fires are sometimes nature’s way of renewal.
Metaphorically speaking, we have all faced fires. We have all experienced the intense flames of pain, hurt and destruction. Do we come out stronger after these fires? Or, are we permanently scorched after the ‘flames’?
“Fire bursts out” Hard Times, Charles Dickens.