Harmony Grove hit hard in Cocos Fire
They call koi fish expert Jerry Myers the “Koi Whisperer.” “Koi Wrangler” is also applicable as he and other members of the Koi Club of San Diego come to the aid of Pastor Chris Meredith’s 36 surviving colorful carp. Not much else survived on the grounds of the Harmony Grove Spiritualist Association, including Pastor Meredith’s home. The association is an enclave of 29 homes, 25 of which were destroyed as the Cocos Fire roared out of San Marcos and headed east and southeast toward Escondido – with the unincorporated area of Harmony Grove in between.
As firefighters, insurance people and contractors gathered in Harmony Grove Monday morning, the fire crews were still looking for hot spots and assessing tree damage; it was obvious from the destruction that residents will need every bit of their faith and spirituality in the coming days.
The firefighters were there amid the devastation, and sifting through the ashes as well was 80-year-old Sylvia Williams. But as Williams painstakingly searched for any momento from her burned down home, she also told KUSI matter-of-factly and with a smile: it was just “stuff.”
“It’s a new beginning, a cleansing… once the lot is cleared,” laughed Williams. “You have to experience Harmony Grove to know its the most calming, most energy-filled place.”
Meanwhile, back at the koi pond, Meredith’s 36 fish, after four casualties, are being relocated to Jerry Myers’ koi sanctuary in Lakeside. And there was no despair over this instance either:
“Even out of tragic experiences, we grow become stronger,” stated Meredith. “In 12 months, we’ll be back here, and we’ll have the koi pond and we’ll have you here; this is part one, we will have part two.”