The roller coaster ride continues with ups and downs, fits and stops. Two days ago we went to Anzac to pick up the truck we left there in our scramble to get out of Fort Mac. It did not have enough gas and in addition needed mechanical work. Friends had kindly taken us to Edmonton to meet our son. All the terror of that day came flooding back as we drove down the highway – blackened forest went on for miles making my heart sore. It was hard to digest the magnitude of destruction, and hard to stem the flood of emotions as memories of that day coupled with seeing evidence of the reach of the “beast” fought to consume me. As we drove along we came to one stretch where one single evergreen stood out among the wreckage as if in defiance of the fire’s onslaught. It stood surrounded on every side by blackened others. Gazing at that one tree, that lone survivor, gave me hope and loosened the hold grief had on my heart. The “beast” has another name – despair – but that lone evergreen helped to strengthen me and give me hope. Like that evergreen I will stand tall and will not let the “beast” consume me.