Monday, 12 November, 2018
"The animals and I are fine!"
I guess everyone learned by now that Malibu is on fire. I had to evacuate my property on Friday morning while La Cubana, my wonderful friend and assistant, rented a house for me and other friends looking for safety from the flames. The journey to Venice Beach, usually 45 minutes, took seven hours, running from the fire and the wind that stirred it. You see me on the photo in a Scottish friend’s rear mirror. Stuart Gow is a brilliant photographer and froze our quite terrifying memories of this escape into images.
Before I left I tried in vain to catch my wild and wonderful donkeys and had to let them run free on my land. My six ducks didn’t like the idea of narrow boxes either and I left them in their stable hoping the fire wouldn’t get to us.
It was a terrible feeling to take my dogs, a few notebooks, photo albums and a suitcase filled with my favorite books, but to leave Zorro and Esperanza and the six chatty ducks behind. I felt like a traitor but everyone urged me to get out and I knew my children wouldn’t like the idea of their mother battling flames.
So…. I didn’t. But the man who had helped me plant and build and bring my property back to life after the long drought, came to fight the fires with his men.
Alfonso Fuentes, whom I like to call El Brujo, as he can talk to trees and make them flower, arrived with César, Rojelio, Alejandro and a few more of his wonderful men and they have been fighting for my house and barn for two days and nights now.
Of course they saved the donkeys and the ducks.
My neighbors Laurel and Larry Thorne, organic farmers, saved their house and report back to me on my ducks and donkeys.
I don’t know yet how all this will echo in my books. Alfonso is already mentioned in The Glass of Lead and Gold. He will for sure play a part in the next Dragonrider. And Laurel and Larry Thorne … well, everyone will believe I made them up as who has such magical neighbors?
The fires are still burning. I am not sure I’ll have a house by the end of the week.
We all hope they’ll open the roads on Tuesday and that we can get back. Whatever we’ll find - it will not be the Malibu we loved. But the ones who stayed and fought the fire made it in a way even more beautiful, although it is a burned paradise.