Memories with ashes

On the 15th of October, one more catastrophe took place in Portugal.

The reason behind the “one more”, is allusive to what had happened months before at Castanheira de Pera/Pedrogão Grande.

If you follow the news, then you know what happened to the beautiful and now changed forever, Pedrogão Grande. Hell. What had started with a flicker of nature’s light ended in destruction and panic. The fire surrounded the houses, consumed the trees, the plants, our people, our country,  and it’s living beings. Outlining and playing games with the survivors, that saw themselves in an inexplicable horror movie never before seen. And the fog, that closed everyone’s eyes and noses, leading them to crashes and infected lungs, no longer suitable to breathe.

Those long hours of fire harvested 61 lives, leaving people homeless and hopeless. Took them away what they had built over decades and in some cases centuries, took our history.

Devastation. Terrifying photos of a deserted road that was once green and full of life.

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This time, were human hands that caused it and terror was installed once again. More than 30 people dead, 16 severely injured and a nation scarred.

Something that can’t be imagined in the middle of June like it was Pedrogão Grande, now happened in the middle of October in 500 other locations in just one day. Our country was in flames and we didn’t know what to do. Obviously, the weather can’t be controlled and the fact is that this is one hot October with temperatures reaching the 30°C/86ºF but that was not what lead this tragedy to happen, it was our kind. The human race.

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In the day that this was happening I couldn’t believe it. I refused to admit to myself what Portugal and the Portuguese were going through. The next morning, I woke up with a hole in my heart, I felt as if I was tired all day.

All those irreplaceable memories at Vieira de Leiria, where I used to go with my grandparents all the time for the weekend. S.Pedro, my favorite destination when going to the beach, the trees surrounding us all throughout the road, it was a beautiful ride. Those amazing picnics in the woods that were our favorite way to reunite the family, now with a different sight.

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My heart goes to all families that were in some way affected by the wildfires, and also a big thank you to all that served our country of any help. To the gesture of offering a water bottle to the courageous firefighters that fought with the elements. Thank you.

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