Use It or Lose It
Communities are seeming like a lost art in the hustle and bustle of daily life in this ‘civilised world’.
How civilised are we if we don’t know our neighbours. Do you know yours?
We need one another all the time but sometimes it is only in an emergency when we truly feel and recognise the neighbourly love and care that could be felt every day.
I’m grateful to live in a close nit community where we do know and care about one another on a daily basis. We have no security here, no emergency services within close reach. We do have one another and the care and compassion and challenges of this knowledge.
Use it or lose it is the subject of this daily prompt and I for one find that it relates to using or losing our sense of community. Love is meant to be shared and if we don’t use and express the love and caring for our neighbours and neighbourhood before you know it though we have people living next door we have lost our real neighbours and community.
It was a quiet night. Nothing out of the ordinary. I was at my computer working on some sort of mindless project or perhaps a mindful project… then I thought I heard the distinct sound of two cats at each others throats wailing their dominance. It was high pitched and brief but enough of a commotion in our quiet harbour community for me to go to my door and look out and listen … nothing. Nothing at all. My neighbour Ike in his boat berthed next to mine looked out at the same time and we commented that we had heard this commotion and then went back to our respective activities.
Within moments -we both heard it again. My view faced my neighbour, Ike so I was looking at one half of the harbour and his view looked the opposite way towards me and faced the other half of the harbour. This time the high pitched call remained long enough for us to hear it while we had our heads outside. Ike’s view suddenly brought perspective. He could see a few docks over and saw the flames erupting into the air as one of our neighbours floating homes was clearly on fire.
Ike yelled to me fire and we both immediately dropped what we were doing and raced out of our boats and over to the dock where the flames were engulfing the floating home. Seems at least 10 of us in the harbour had risen to the occasion and we were all scrambling to hook up hoses and get in position to battle the fire down. The emergency services had been called and were on their way but we are in a remote area and know that our first defense was in one another. I think we all felt the sense of emergency and the very real urgency. Wooden boats and docks are no match for an out of control fire so we could not let this fire get out of control.
I don’t think I ever really felt that we might never come back form this if not handled professionally and swiftly. Somehow we are survivors out here so that frame of thought isn’t in the cards!
The fire had been started by a chimney fire and the residents of the house hadn’t even realised they were on fire till all the commotion began. They were still inside trying to round up their animals. My neighbour, Ike, had grabbed a few fire extinguishers from the dock and was inside the house dousing the flames at the source. Meanwhile our harbour master and owner Eric, had climbed up on the roof of the house and we had passed hoses to him so he could get the fire out from outside and keep it from spreading. With the team work on hand the fire was extinguished within probably 20 minutes though I think for all of us it felt more like a couple of hours.
The fire department showed up in a timely manner considering our location and took over with the investigation and ensuring no further sparks etc. The fire department was there for a couple of hours probably but there were no more flames to extinguish and all was safe now.
The events related are true and took place about 12 years ago .. in 2002 or 2003