Native Writes: Tests of fate


Fate, considered either male or female, is constantly at work in our lives.

On Tuesday, I had time to talk with the daughter of a man who lived to 99 years and almost three months before passing away, possibly due to a house fire, only to learn that neither she nor any of his large family knows for sure.

He was found deceased at the fire scene.

Agencies tasked with determining the cause of fire and death don’t seem to be in a hurry to complete reports. Until they are complete, no one will know for sure.

Tuesday night, the shop/studio of sculptor Huberto Maestas burned to the ground.

I didn’t know Alex Quintana, the man who succumbed as his home burned. I wish I had.

I know Huberto and his wife, Dana, and they have my greatest respect, affection and, now, prayers.

Fire can be humanity’s greatest friend, as well as its worst enemy.

The case of Jesper Joergensen, accused of starting the fire that burned the mountains east of Fort Garland, moves slowly through the courts. More than 144 homes and businesses were lost in Costilla County and more than 80 in neighboring Huerfano County. Thankfully, no lives were lost.

He contends it was an accident, others argue he knew better.

Joergensen was here illegally, having outstayed his visa from Denmark and the media in his homeland are interested in the case.

They wait, as we do in many large cases currently in the courts. Some await official reports.

Whoever observed that the wheels of justice grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine knew what he or she was talking about

Justice, like fire, has great power and the legal system, when working as it should, benefits us all.

A veteran law enforcement officer once told me the greatest complication in seeking justice through the courts is televised detective shows in which a case is solved and seen through to conviction in an hour.

It doesn’t happen in real life.

Resolution doesn’t happen rapidly in real life, even in cases where no crime has been committed, but an accident has taken place. Sometimes, human remains await identification as laboratories work to ensure results are accurate.

I could argue that the delays are due to low funding and this may be true in local cases, but the slow operation of laboratories at higher levels boggles the mind. Too many “crime” shows also boggle the mind.

We know fires start, we know they devastate, but finding out when, why and how takes time.

The greatest lesson is patience.

Its greatest impediment is tolerating fate.

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