|Stanislaus River-Big Trees Park-photo by Libby Fife|
The one thing that I have learned both with this fire and with other traumatic events experienced over the last several years, is that everyone copes with stress and tragedy in their own way. One person's way might seem cold or calculating while another person's way might appear to be too emotional. Everyone has their own style and it is important for your own sanity to keep this in mind.
With that said, I hit my own personal limit late last week. I needed to get out and go somewhere else. I chose one of my favorite spots (and a place where there was no smoke), Big Trees State Park in Arnold. Though it was in the path of the fire, the area was unharmed. The fire never reached that far. And the smoke in the air was gone, prevailing wind direction aiding in that blessing. I hiked my favorite trail, looked in the visitors' center and drove on to the south area of the park. I love the Stanislaus river, the limited amount that I can see without some serious hiking. I parked my car and walked down a wooden staircase to take the above shot. As I stood looking at the river and listened to the various sounds, I realized just how much I needed this little bit of peace. I was filled with a sense of extreme gratitude that I was able to stand there at that moment and experience just a bit of God's gift. Just to be aware of it and to think about it.
As I wrote above, everyone handles stress in their own way. And for those who haven't gotten relief yet, I hope it comes soon. I pray that it comes soon.
In reference to the title, please see this link to a wonderful hymn, It is Well With My Soul. Please take a moment to read about its author, Horatio Spafford