Thursday, April 14, 2011

On Sirens and Saving the Shoes

The sirens started at around 5:30 Monday morning.  It was shortly after Hubby left for work, and I was just getting back to sleep.  Not that sirens are unusual.  We live fairly close to the police station. We often hear sirens in the distance, and given the nature of our neighbourhood we frequently see the police going about their business.  Heck, we've even had them here a few times.  This was different though.  There were a lot of them, and they were close.  And getting closer. 

I got up in time to see police cars racing through the intersection up the road, then two fire trucks blared past our house.  Given the time of day, and the fact that I'm not a morning person, I was a bit miffed that they all had their sirens going.  It is a residential neighbourhood, and there's really no one on the road at that time of day.  Except for hubby of course, but he's on foot and not likely to impede their progress.  (Ironically, the fire trucks did have to slow right in front of our house, as the city installed a speed hump there a few years ago.)

Those incredibly grumpy first thoughts were quickly followed by more compassionate ones.  Who had to call the fire department before dawn?  Was it someone I knew?  Did everyone get out in time?  Did their pets?  What was happening?

I sat with my thoughts for a while, and found myself thinking  about the people waiting for the firefighters.  How relieved must they been relieved to hear those same sirens I had been grumbling about moments before?  
I thought too about the firefighters.  I really don't know anything about our local team, but it's a small town.  I imagine most of them were asleep when the call came in, yet there they were, sirens blaring, racing to who knew what.
By 5:40 my perspective had changed completely.  My thoughts had changed to ones of gratitude.  I was safe at home, and I live in a place where there are people willing and able roar into action and help those in trouble at any hour.  How lucky am I?

It turns out that the fire was pretty bad. The fire chief considers it "non-survivable".  Fortunately there were no injuries, as no one was home when the fire started. The house, though, is beyond repair. 
The incident reminded me of a Ted Talk I saw recently.  Probably because the presenter, volunteer firefighter Mark Bezos, was was in full gear.  I watched his talk again Monday afternoon, and was surprised to find that Bezos also started with less-than-positive emotions.  I had forgotten that.  My memories of the talk were of his humour and his message.  His speaking of his firefighting rival made me feel a little less guilty about my first response to the early morning sirens. The fact that I managed to bring my thoughts from grumpy to gratitude gives me hope.   Maybe I too will find a way to get in the game.  Save the shoes. 


  1. lovely article and perfect ted talk accompaniment.

  2. Thank you my dear Sheron. Just what I needed to hear today.


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