When you say “forest fire” in a room of kids, you never know what they’re thinking until they tell you. They know fire drills. They know fire trucks. They know Smokey Bear says, “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires!” But what is a forest fire? Sadly, in Texas there’s not much forest left after the devastating fires of 2011. To me, it conjures up images of Bambi and his friends racing through smoke and heat and looking for each other on a small island while their homes disappear before their very eyes. It’s all very quiet in a loud sort of way.
This is what a forest fire is to one of my second graders.
Again, quiet in a loud sort of way. You can almost hear the crackling and popping of the tree sap and the water in the trunk heating and creating small explosions in the bark. The wind shifts and you find yourself coughing from the smoke…and seeing the flames lick the dry grass. Hush. Listen. It’s a fire. Can you hear the danger? Can you hear the panic in the silence of the forest creatures as they make split-second decisions: run, climb, hide, which baby to carry out first…
A moment of silence for those who weren’t fast enough or chose the wrong direction or the wrong tree to climb…a moment of silence for those who gave their lives returning to save another…
…A prayer of thanks for those who were there on the other side of the brightness of the dark to give care, food, water, shelter…those with open hearts and open arms…like you.
I had hoped to have my Kindergarten PhotoStory ready for this post, but it’s not quite finished. It has music with voice over and I’m cropping photos, so maybe for Hour three.