Every once in awhile I realize that the word "fire" is in the title of this blog, but in fact I don't write that often about fire. Sometimes I think I should, but then I think, not really.
Sometimes, not very often, I'll come across a fire blog. Most of the time they have been abandoned for years. If it's a new one, the person will write earnestly about firefighting tactics and strategies. He or she might second guess the decisions made during fatality fires. But usually these blogs die out, or cease to be interesting except to new firefighters. The ones that remain still talk about fire, but also other things: hiking, photography, or thoughts about life.
I recently took a class on resilience and work/life balance. It was all the stuff we know, but don't always do. Exercise (well, I do that), nutrition (I try!) and your life beyond the workplace (I'm not always so great at that). As a firefighter, it's easy to tip the balance. It's a demanding job. You're gone a lot. You don't get vacations in the summer, or holidays, or special events. You spend more time with your coworkers than anyone else.
But we are ultimately all replaceable. Fires eventually go out. The job takes a toll on your body and for some, your mental state. Firefighter suicide rates are high. I've known a few people who have taken that path. There has to be something else besides the job, even if it is your passion.
So I'll still write about fire, but today here is a picture of a lake I hiked to. It's not a long hike, but there was still a lot of snow. Even in snowshoes, I slid around and fell in. I saw bear tracks and thought about turning around, but instead yelled louder. The lake is just now starting to lose its winter ice.
It'll be a long time before fire comes to this forest. It's barely spring here. But there's plenty of time for that. I'd rather be out here today, in the snow and sunshine.