All week we have seen images and heard stories about the "Camp Fire" wildfires in California. An area four times the size of San Francisco has now burned. As of this post, 48 people have died and 7600 buildings have been destroyed, making it the deadliest and most destructive wildfire on record.
The images are all over the news, and stories of the blaze are surely being talked about at school — so we encourage you all to meet your child's natural anxiety and fear with empathy, reassurance and then, if appropriate, some agency.
Below we've posted our best story to help children who have experienced loss through fire. You can stream or download it for free.
You can also tell your child that in extraordinary circumstances like this, the "helpers" step forward - and that they can be one of those helpers. David wrote an article about "the helpers" after Hurricane Irma - you can find it here.
Having agency can help to soothe worried children and becoming a "helper" is a great way to step into action rather than sit in one's fears. Its always good to feel what one feels - and then, we believe, its even better to act.
Action can be anything from offering a prayer, to donating food or clothing, to giving money to charity.
How to Help Californians Directly:
If you'd like to send support to the people and animals affected by the fires in California, see this post for great suggestions.
from the So Many Fairies Series
This story is a part of the "Handy Tool Belt of Stories" — a collection of various stories designed to give your family support during overwhelming life events. Included are stories about trauma, sickness, potential harm, and death. These stories are here to have in your back pocket if your family experiences a sudden trauma or difficult life event.
Nicholas and Miriam love their grandmother Nani’s warm and cozy home. But one spring day, a fire breaks out, and Nani's home is mostly lost to smoke and flame. Their grandmother is okay with the loss, but Miriam is not okay. In fact, she becomes afraid that the fire may happen again. It takes the work of several fairies to help Miriam learn to appreciate fire again.
This story has no Sparkle advertisement – only a short copyright tag at the end. It is intended as a gift to support families who may find it useful.
For more stories to support children in the face of tragedy or loss:
Please see our previous post “You Are Safe and the World Is Good.”
In it, you’ll find three free stories to help children with fear and worry.
About the Authors
David Sewell McCann
David Sewell McCann fell in love with spinning stories in first grade – the day a storyteller came to his class and captured his mind and imagination. He has been engaged in storytelling all of his adult life through painting, film-making, teaching and performing. Out of his experience as a Waldorf elementary class teacher and parent, he has developed a four step method of intuitive storytelling, which he now shares through workshops and through this website.
KC is a full-time radical homemaker and mama to two spunky little girls. She writes about all kinds of radical goodness, from gardening and cooking with whole foods to crafting, sewing, homeschooling, and mama musings. Read more on her blog The Nettlesome Life.