Last week I scribbled out a few lines regarding my gratitude for the life that I have in light of a recent hurricane.
Since posting that message I have been without power for several days, experienced a second and more severe hurricane, and stood vigil over a slow burning palm tree in the forest at the back of my property while I waited for the electric company and the fire service to figure out how to shut the power off to a broken wire so that the fire could be extinguished safely.
I was never in any immediate danger but I was forced to wait a long time while emergency services helped others who were in much more urgent need of assistance. I kept calm but it was a lesson I will never forget for two reasons:
Firstly I had to acknowledge that, despite my best efforts, some things just are beyond my control. I did nothing to cause the tree to catch fire and yet I was powerless to extinguish it safely myself.
Secondly and more importantly – where in the world would we be without firemen?
This is at best a grueling, dangerous and exhausting job; and the brave, selfless men and women who choose this profession get out of bed and put themselves at risk to help others every single day. If that is not the definition of a hero – then I don’t know what is. They all deserve our respect and gratitude, and to be thought of more often than just when we need to dial 911.