Winter’s abbreviated days inevitably bring prolonged darkness. Nineteen degrees outside, and me, I start thinking Deep Thoughts. You know, wondering about the Meaning of Life. F’r instance: If so many people are officially medicated for their devastatingly bad moods, why are millions upon millions of them still depressed, er, besieged by full-blown crawling-under-a-rock bleakness?

Some of these folks must suffer from what scientists call “Seasonal Affective Disorder,” or “SAD,” surely a pharmaceutical bonanza. On the other hand, let there be light to defeat these winter blahs.

Or you could go the yoga and meditation route – Zen depressives are few in number.

Perennially cheerful Audrey Carr’s a paragon of Zen Equipoise. Although she might be too modest to agree, she’s an Internet treasure. Author of the book “Zen Is,” she also publishes a truly inspirational monthly e-newsletter, THE ZEN GAME, dispensing authentic wisdom on the path to enlightenment.

After she piques my curiosity with her comment – “For those of you affected by the California fires (like our family was), please remember this: ‘Identification with events in time is misery; non-identification is bliss'” – I want to know more.

So I contact her, and she replies:

How thoughtful of you to ask about our mountain [lake] cabin! We went back & forth on it for a while after an Internet posting said it was lost, and we saw a newsreel looking like it was in flames! [Then we] found another picture posted, showing it still standing. Finally, a friend pulled some strings and drove all the way up to check on it.

[This] was right in the middle of the worst fires. But, when he arrived, he found it still intact. After the fires stopped, my niece went up, too, and was happy to report the three-story cabin (overlooking the lake) had miraculously been saved. Even the giant Christmas tree we watched grow from a baby and my Mom’s precious lilac plants were still there.

All the cabins on our street (and most of the town one block below) were totally destroyed, except for one other house and ours. Even the railroad ties and wooden bridge on our property are gone, and could have ignited it very easily. My 97-year-old mother never gave up on it and felt the “miracle” happened because of her prayers, positive thinking and encouragement from her many friends.

Ninety-six homes were lost at Green Valley Lake alone, so we were very fortunate that it remained. It backs up to the National Forest, and only two weeks earlier, firemen had cleared out the dead trees and brush behind the cabin, so that surely did help.

Our “extended” family has spent many Thanksgivings there, and [certainly had] a lot to celebrate this year!

However, from the standpoint of higher Consciousness, one should always be in a place of non-attachment to forms and events, in order to stay centered in the Reality that will never be destroyed, no matter what happens.

Later on, she writes again.

My family just got back from Thanksgiving at GVL and saw firsthand what a miracle it was! The worst part of the fire totally destroyed giant pines and about 10 or 15 cabins on our block. Driving up the street, all one sees are chimneys and charred remains. And then, right above them – our beautiful cabin in all its glory! – untouched.

We discovered on the back of the cabin, the flames had come as close as three feet. The railroad ties that were destroyed had been part of the driveway. They were all charred, but right next to them, my Mom’s lilac tree was still standing, as were the two beautiful giant pine trees on the property. One reason our cabin was still there: Years ago, we had purchased the lots on both sides, and they acted as firebreaks, creating a separation from the burning cabin next door.

One of the saddest things: The old lady two doors down, who lived there year round, had been told to evacuate. So, she moved her car onto the driveway and was filling it with things to take, when it ran over her and killed her on the spot. Fortunately, she did not witness her cabin burning to the ground – there’s nothing left of it.

… When the Santa Ana winds start up, they are deadly in conditions this dry. However, at least this time, the mountains were OK. Thanks for asking. Love, Hugs and Namaste, Sweet Friend.


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