Surviving A Wildfire, Gratitude To The Beavers, and A Little Catch Up

First Snow 2020

First Snow 2020

First Snow 2020

The Grizzly Creek Wild Fire

The Grizzly Creek Wild Fire

The Grizzly Creek Wild Fire

A garden Visitor

Autumn Colors

Autumn Colors

Autumn Colors

Autumn Colors

Autumn Colors

Autumn Colors

Surviving A Wildfire, Gratitude To The Beavers, and A Little Catch Up

As I am writing this, the first snow of the season is falling on our garden.
Winter has arrived.

It was only two weeks ago that we took photos of the beautiful autumn colors, as the trees and plants changed their green colors into golden yellows, oranges and deep reds. 
Now, most of the leaves have already fallen, and only the evergreen trees have kept their beautiful deep green dresses.

I am finally catching up with my writing, with a new commitment to write at least once or twice per week. 
My apologies for being absent for the past few months. 
Summer has been a very enjoyable and interesting one.

We fixed things that needed doing, upgraded our garage floor, planted grapes, blueberries, and many bulbs of daffodils and tulips, as well as more Aspens, flowers and herbs. 
For the first time ever, I swam this summer in the creek by our house. 
Normally, this year round Sweetwater Creek is not deep enough for swimming. 
If I feel like it, I raft or take a dip in the nearby Colorado river.

But the wild beavers living on our land have created dams from trees that they felled, and these dams have created small pools. 
The wise beavers intend to catch bigger fish in these pools, and I took advantage of their creativity to swim naked, away from any human eyes, in these wild and free sweet-water pools. 
Jules and I cleared walking paths through the land, and cleared some of the dense vegetation from the creek banks.

The only exceptions to our enjoyment were the big wildfires that raged throughout Colorado this summer. 
We even had a big wildfire nearby that caused us to evacuate our home for four days.

We stayed in an apartment hotel just forty miles from our home, and it was a scary reminder that although we love to travel and to roam the earth as pilgrims on foot, having a home that you love is a blessing and a sanctuary that is just as important to us.

As the smoke-laden clouds gathered over our mountains, Jules and I were participating in a week long Kriya Yoga Meditation Webinar that was organized by the Self Realization Fellowship.

The Self Realization Fellowship was originated in the USA by the great yogi Paramahansha Yogananda, who wrote the famous book, “Autobiography Of A Yogi,” revealing to the world the mystical and advanced spiritual Masters and Yogic traditions of India.

This Self Realization Fellowship Convocation normally happens live in Los Angeles once a year, but this year, because of the Coronavirus, it took place online.

Everyday, we tuned into the program and participated from morning to evening. 
We meditated and listened to the hourly lectures, chanted along with the nuns and monks, and immersed ourselves completely in the program.

As the wildfires got closer and closer to our house, I turned to the Masters and in my meditation, I asked for protection, not just for our house, but for the whole area and for the wildlife in our area as well. 
Then I tuned into the wildlife and invited every frightened animal and bird to come to find shelter in the acres of land surrounding our house.

A day after I made this heartfelt offer to the spirit of all the wildlife, our hummingbird feeders were visited by dozens of hummingbirds. 
Hummingbirds are usually territorial, and fiercely protect their feeders, and Jules and I stood in awe, as the bottles of red nectar were drunk by dozens of swarming hummingbirds.

On the day before last, we finished the evening meditation program, just as the phone rang. 
Jules picked the phone up and listened intently. 
As he put the phone down, I intuitively knew what it was about. 
“We have to evacuate our house, right?,” 
I asked calmly. 
“Yes, how did you know?,” 
Jules asked, surprised.

In our area of the mountains, we have reverse 911 calls, which means that instead of us needing to call emergency services, they call us if there is an emergency in our area that might affect us. 
This was a recorded 911 call, informing us that we must evacuate our house and offering help for those neighbors who have livestock, horses and other animals.

Soon after, we started packing to stay for a few days out of the house. 
Beside clothing, toiletries and portable electronics, we packed important papers, money, jewelry, cameras and passports.
I also decided to pack some of the art that I have painted in the past years.

We could not fit big paintings into our jeep, so I packed only the scroll paintings. 
As we loaded our jeep, we saw the lights of police cars driving down our road. 
A kind policewoman pulled into our driveway, and told us that they are going from house to house, just in case some houses did not get the phone notification.
We decided not to go to the designated Recreation Center that was set up as a shelter, and booked a hotel instead.

The next day, we continued with our meditation program as scheduled, with the addition of tuning into the daily firefighters’ progress report, broadcast for us on Facebook.
The firefighters did a fabulous job, and at the end, the fire did not consume one residential house nor damage any cabin or private property in our area.

Even the famous “Hanging Lake” hiking trail was spared and the beloved wooden boardwalk by the lake was left untouched. 
Other wildfires around Colorado did damage houses and properties. 
The wildfire caused the I-70, a major highway crossing Colorado from east to west, to be closed for a while.
For us, this meant that we could not visit the Aspen area, but we made do by going to farmers markets in the Vail area.

Beside needing to wear masks in public spaces, we did not experience too many inconveniences from COVID-19. 
We even took a few short trips, and most everything was open and we could go everywhere wearing masks. 
Beside all this, I had a great summer.

Because we stayed home so often, I got acquainted with some teachers and spiritual teachings that I was not familiar with.

In my next posts, I plan to share some of their amazing stories and wonderful teachings.

It is good to see you again, and with a heart full of love, I bid you goodbye.

Tali

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