Then, just a couple days after she left, a wildfire broke out here just outside town. The fire started in a canyon where my niece and I hiked a couple years ago.
|She took this photo of me. I'm glad she saw it like this.|
While she was here this year, we hiked in Garden of the Gods. The authorities closed that park due to its proximity to the fire. It's a blessing the fire didn't destroy this park.
But it destroyed much more -- lives, homes, businesses and a beloved Colorado Springs landmark. It's been a tough week for our community, one that brought out the best and worst in many people.
One day, I will tell Milo about this summer. I will tell him about the great fun we had with his cousin. I will tell him about our trip to the zoo, our visit to the aquarium, our hike. And I will tell him about the devastation the wildfire caused our town (and others across Colorado). I will tell him about the brave men and women who fought the fires. I will tell him about the other heroes, too -- the folks who gathered food and supplies, who opened their homes to evacuees and pets. I'm not sure how I will be able to bring myself to tell him about the people who broke into cars and looted evacuated homes and scammed good people into "donating" money, but I will. One day.
For now, I'm glad he won't remember the plumes of smoke rising above the mountains or the flames licking the trees and homes along the ridgeline.
He has been a ray of light during these dark days. I will easily tell him that.