Albertans – not just those who live, work, play in Fort McMurray – spellbound.
Yet, calm amid chaos.
Before humans, fire randomly regenerated forests and prairie grasses. We’ve organized communities, but can’t ‘civilize’ nature.
Threatening communities, projects, wildlife – wildfires swallowing every fuel in their path.
Isn’t worst, best, good or bad.
Good, minimal human injury.
Bad, massive property damage.
Good, governments, donors and insurance companies will fund rebuilding – estimated, at $9 billion.
Bad, many displaced.
Good, welcoming communities offering services and shelter, and hugs, for everyone.
Bad, many have no home left.
Good, they can plan their new home, accumulate new treasures.
Bad, they have to wait.
Glory stories. Heroism, professionals, luck.
We are Albertan.
I ‘became Albertan’ at eight. I remember so clearly, first day in my Red Deer school – stranger, given books, made welcome. But, no Social Studies? They called it Enterprise. This enterprise metaphor which repeats in my life, in Alberta life.
Boom times, bust times – there is enterprise here, in all of us, across ideological boundaries, we are many, together, enterprising, Albertans. We don’t quit. There was no quitting course in our curriculum.
Smoke will clear. Rebuilding. Never fast enough, of course, but soon.
Imagine IF …
If two weeks ago, someone had announced a ‘starting next month, a $9 billion infrastructure spending program’ for new housing and commercial development, in one community, would not officials and unemployed workers collectively been dancing in the streets?
80,000 evacuees, 4 million Albertans will attest, you can evacuate any city but you can’t remove our spirit.
Much worth celebrating.
No dancing yet.
P.S.: convoys, those who escaped north, now being escorted by police south, through Fort McMurray, then on to accommodations in Edmonton, Calgary and other points south around the province.
written / published from Calgary, AB
morning walk: 4C/30F, clear and calm – crisp and lovely, one cyclist and one passer-by, otherwise streets are as quiet as a Sunday morning. Gusta found lots of fresh tall wet grass to wet her belly