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
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