Poem and fire…

1. Fall colors in Nevada City, CA

2. Smoky day in Nevada City, CA (the faint outline at top of picture is the mountain where I live– to the right) 

I have lived with the possibility of fires the last 27 years. It’s the price one pays for living in the forest. I accept that. I’ve held my breath through the dry fall months many times–until we get those first rains. My family has packed to evacuate, but never had to leave. We’ve been lucky.  I keep a pair of shoes and my purse next to my bed…just in case. I know where my important papers are, I have a suitcase with a change of clothes in my car, animal carriers ready, and the brush has been cleared away from the house.  We are prepared the best anyone can be–if disaster strikes.

California deals with fires, earthquakes, floods, and droughts–it’s a fact of life here. Yet, I have never woken up to what I did this week. So many fires happening “all at once” during a dry wind and dry time of the year. Of those seventeen fires, two struck our area the first day. Fire fighters risked their lives to save other’s lives and property. Sometimes you have a warning, but most of the time you don’t.

Right now, I am safe. The trees are changing their colors for fall to red, yellow, and orange. It’s a beautiful process that continues uninterrupted—even surrounded by fire. The trees carry-on even with all the changes taking place. There are signs of this change all over the world–and all I can do is hope that it isn’t too late for “us” to change…


The air is thick with disaster

Heavy in loss and pain.

The sun unable to break through

As the winds fuel the flames…

Tension fills us all.

No breath too deep

As watchful eyes are kept —

Pinned on the horizon.

We wait for the warning.

Bags packed—ready to flee

The air is thick,

With ash from the fires

As…we wait.

Thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have lost loved ones or their homes in the California fires– and the other recent disasters. Reach out and lend a helping hand where you can.

Next week, I will be on vacation with my grand kids. I’m hoping to explore some fall splendor if we can– and at the same time praying for the rains to start! So, the monthly newsletter will be a few days late, while I am out embracing my inner child–D.L. Finn


13 thoughts on “Poem and fire…”

  1. It sounds scary, DL. I remember catching the smoke from Canadian wildfires once, and just that presence on the air was mind boggling, I can’t imagine being that close to the actual occurrence. So good to know you and yours are safe. the poem was touching and a strong reminder of the powers of nature.

    1. It is mind boggling for sure! Nature is certainly a force we can’t control yet, we are depending on to end the fires, too, with some rain.

  2. The beautiful fall tree and the quaint little town with the mountainous background gave no indication of what was about to follow. Because of your writing, I felt the anxiety of possible loss. I will pray for your safety and I really hope you get to enjoy that vacation.

    1. Thank you, Linda. I sat in the car and decided to write a couple of poems looking out at the smoke after an appointment. We are expecting rain this week, so looking forward to that.A lot of anxiety for too many people lately.

  3. I love being surrounded by trees, but the fires in CA are scary, and a reminder of how helpless we truly are when Nature is on a rampage. I have a friend in CA in the mountains above Sonoma, and so far they’re safe, but every day is another day on edge while the fires go where they will. Stay safe!

    1. Hi Julie! Yes, we have no control over the force of nature, but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I hope your friend continues to stay safe! Thanks for dropping by:)

    1. Thank you, Bette. Keeping our fingers crossed for more rain! I always enjoy being around the little ones:) Thanks for stopping by:)

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