The Firenado

The other night my husband and I caught a few minutes of a tv show while it was actually airing on tv, not streaming or DVRd. In this program, scientists were trying to explain what they believe caused an odd-shaped scar in the middle of a desert. After about twelve and a half minutes of exploring possible options, they showed video of one of my nightmares how an enormous firenado was the most likely scenario.

Fire tornado outback Australia
“Fire tornado outback Australia” by chris.tangey is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 permission requested/pending

For a firenado to form, nature has to line up perfectly. First, there needs to be fire. Check. Fire needs air. But a firenado? Turbulent air. I’m no scientist, but if I understand this correctly, the combination of intense heat from the fire and cooler, turbulent air create a vortex of doom. This doom vortex is the firenado.

We watched examples of this swirling vortex of flame and destruction on tv for a little while. They’re mesmerizing. When we were kids, we’d light sparklers and trace shapes on the driveway with the charred ends. That’s what firenados remind me of: God tracing shapes on the earth with sparkly bits of flame.

After the TV firenado struck, over time, new life grew in desert. Plants, birds, reptiles all returned.

The flaming pain of my personal firenado has subsided. Not totally quenched, but subsided a lot. Today I go visit my doc and start the rest of my treatment plan. God willing, He will do with me what he’s done so many times in the desert and elsewhere: Use this to burn off the excess and start new.

Published by Kell McKinney

I write middle grade and picture book stories. Member of SCBWI. Former marketing manager for a company people love to hate.

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