Sunday, August 22, 2010

God saved me from fire, the first time

It was a beautiful summer afternoon; I had finished cleaning the kitchen – dishes and all. I always loved afternoons because unlike mornings when I had to wake early to prepare the breakfast, serve the table, clean the dishes, cook for lunch, prepare the table and clean the dishes once again – a routine that consumes the entire morning of a holiday – afternoons are long, lazy and free for play. There weren’t many playmates around the neighborhood. I never made friends with other teenagers or children in that place. I always felt that I and my siblings were different. We just didn’t get along with them. Their parents weren’t friendly towards our parents. There was always element of envy.

I and my siblings were climbing a huge Casio nut tree at the back yard, about 100 meters away from my dad’s Furniture and Upholstery shop. At third year high school, I was not very mindful of my looks. The only time I combed my hair and behaved like a lady is when I was in school aware of the presence of the boy who had captured my heart. I climbed every tree possible of climbing. No matter how difficult the track that even my brothers refused to climb, I always dared myself. It gave me feelings of satisfaction to be able to conquer not only heights but also a very challenging path.

While enjoying my conquer that afternoon on top of a very tall tree, I devoured the beauty of an irrigation water that extends to the horizon, the hills on the South and the sight of plenty of trees that were inviting me. The wind blowed my hair restlessly. But I felt that something wasn’t right. There was uneasiness in me that didn’t allow me to fully enjoy my haven against the wind. Something was telling me to go home and check what was wrong. I hurriedly climbed down the tree and headed home.

My instinct told me to check the kitchen. I couldn’t see anything wrong. I went to check the dirty kitchen but everything seemed normal too. I wanted to ignore the weird feeling but it kept telling me to continue searching. I removed some of the woods beside the stove, and there I saw, a growing angry red readying to spark and consume the entire dirty kitchen. A single burning charcoal must had escaped when I was grilling some fish for lunch. It must had hit the back of the stove and then bounced and landed the bottom of the wall made of sawali, woven split bamboo mats. The charcoal silently consumed the bottom of the dried sawali wall and with the help of the wind, was making its way up. It wouldn’t take much time before the charcoal, along with its conquered wall, would turn into an angry roaring fire, consume the rest of the walls and reach for the electric wires. I quickly went to the kitchen to get some water and went back to kill the fire. With intense anger, I drowned the threatening fire. When I was certain that the fire was fully stopped, I felt myself trembling and exhausted. I went inside the house imagining what could have happened. I realized that my youngest sister, a little more than 2 years at the time, was sleeping in my parents room. My dad was in his shop adjacent to the house. I and my other siblings were at the backyard more than 100 meters away from the house. My mom was not around.

That lazy peaceful afternoon could have turned into a tragic one. I would never knew how tragic it could be but God did not allow it to happen. He saved me and my family from fire the first time.

See: God saved me from fire, the second time

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