have you ever been an accidental witness to a big moment in someone else's life?
maybe the worst moment of their life?
a moment in which you really hope this is the worst moment, because if they've lived anything worse you're not sure you want to know about it?
two days ago, sunday afternoon, i went out to look for a geocache and i stopped to take a picture of a pretty field with dandelions. i only mention it because i was looking up in an area of the sky that would become very interesting a few minutes later, when a little farther down the road i noticed billows of black smoke rising up in that same clear patch of sky.
black smoke is nearly always a structure fire or a big trash burn. wood burns clean, mostly. plastics and such burn black.
and i remember hoping -real hard- that it was a big trash burn.
please, oh please, please, please, don't let it be a structure fire.
and then about ten minutes later i started to hear all the sirens. right off i saw seven engines from two towns, and then more engines, and a lot of guys in pickups and SUVs driving the way only firemen do.
that has to be a structure fire.
well, part of what i'm doing is looking for a geocache but also part of what i'm doing is sitting in prayer, because i have a friend who's doing important and difficult work at this time and i want to be with her in that, and ask blessings on that.
so now i have this fire to add to that mountain of prayer. somebody just over the hill is having a very bad day.
i still hope it's a trash burn.
and then i'm on my way out and i can see the fire from the ridge, and all along the road cars are parked watching the fire and engines are still coming from surrounding towns. there's a lot of flame and i can see in my scope that it's a house. a nice one.
at this point i'm hoping that it's just an outbuilding, but it looks like the house is going up.
this morning, tuesday, i was back over there looking for an earthcache and i went by hoping to see a charred outbuilding and a standing house.
instead i saw the still burning ashpile, nothing left standing but the narrow chimney.
and the guy (i assume it's the homeowner) is sitting beside the smoking rubble in a lawn chair, reading the paper. his mailbox is still standing, and i guess they still deliver his paper.
it is so sad my heart will maybe break.