As much as my husband and I have in common, there is one major difference that exists. For my husband, tragedy and upheaval has never been considered a reason to lose a night's sleep. While for my-self sleep flees at the first sign of upheaval. On these nights, I keep a solitary vigil.

I type this now in the middle of the night while my husband sleeps in the next room. We are miles from home. A former stranger has helped us secure new accommodations for the night after the world violently intruded into our willed seclusion.

A parched hilltop caught fire, and our whole mountain had to be evacuated suddenly after nightfall. After frantically repacking our carelessly scattered belongings, we drove away in our pajamas. Through billowing clouds of smoke circulating airborne particles of fire, we could see the blaze steadily consuming the mountain. We had to pass close to the source of the fire which raged next to the main exit in order to escape from the gated vacation community where we had rented a guest cottage for the night.

You could argue that we lost little more than an un-interrupted night's sleepOn a night intended to commemorate our eleventh anniversary, and our treasured connection to each other, we celebrate instead the kindness of strangers, and the delicate and fragile strands of life's web.

You could argue that we lost little more than an un-interrupted night's sleep. This is in fact what my husband himself would argue. For him, loss and gain are quantifiable. What concerns him are the practical questions – such as whether or not the owner should financially be held accountable for the interruption of our holiday. It is I who sit awake in the pre-dawn hours, struggling for meaning through the blackness of ignorance. I puzzle over these sudden tangles in a smooth web.

Why were we meant to be here tonight, among those who arrived and departed within hours from a mountain retreat? What should we learn from our sudden escape about the way life should be measured and experienced? How can we infuse meaning into the ordinary run of our days back home which flow seamlessly one into the next?

The next day, the headlines betray me. What was so traumatic to us has not been deemed worthy of mention. A larger fire further up north, which caused some eagles to be evacuated from a nature reserve, receives the headline while our story goes untold. I am left with questions that have no answers – was the fire caused by spontaneous combustion, or was it man-made? Was it accidental or intentional, perhaps even a politically motivated act of arson? How did others cope with their own abrupt night-time departures?

Most disturbing is the particular question that is ours alone to answer - why we were destined to experience this particular experience on the night of our eleventh anniversary? What lessons should we draw from this inexplicable interruption to our lives?

We arrive home the next day exhausted rather than rejuvenated from our holiday. I am worn out from my night-time vigil. Yet life rushes to enfold us back in its demanding embrace. We resume our role in the routines of learning, working, and raising a family. These are the actions which measure our days.

I glimpsed backstage behind the carefully designed and constructed scenery of our lives, and was shocked to discover how fragile the artifice truly isAt first I am haunted by the horrific awareness that G‑d forbid, it could have been otherwise. Yet slowly this awareness recedes into the background, pushed aside by the immanent needs of the present.

I prepare for Shabbat. I light candles and hug my children. I whisper a prayer to be blessed with understanding, but I know that such insight is not always my right. Accepting a life designed by G‑d means learning to live sometimes with unanswered questions. I must respect His Silences. It may be years before the answers to my questions reveal themselves in the unfolding of life's tapestry.

Until then, I continue tomorrow as today, struggling to embrace our particular story.

We are lucky to have survived our experience unscathed, and to be able to return to normal life without catastrophic consequences. Yet for a moment, I glimpsed backstage behind the carefully designed and constructed scenery of our lives, and was shocked to discover how fragile the artifice truly is. I discovered that whether we are asleep or awake, we are all vulnerable to these primal elements of fire and wind. The flame that burns so beautifully atop a Shabbat candle could destroy if it were allowed to burn uncontained.