California is on fire…again. Each occurrence seems to set a new record for destruction and loss of life. The entire town of Paradise is gone and with it, 23 lives and countless animals, domestic and wild.
The thick smoke has drifted and settled in our valley turning the landscape an eerie orange –
blocking out the sun and delivering an early cold that caused a premature freezing of tender fall blooms.
It is tempting to complain about the suffocating air – until you remember that the smoke carries with it the lives, memories, and homes of others.
How do you reconcile the weight of tragedy against our day-to-day lives? When the world seems so full of hate and hurt? When the homeless still sleep in our streets? When our very planet is under assault? Or an entire town is reduced to ash?
And yet – dogs still need to get out to run,
and be comforted.
The garden still needs tending and planting if we are to celebrate spring.
I left my smoke-filled home this morning and arrived at the rescue which was miraculously nearly clear – blue sky rising above a layer of smoke.
As the flowers of late fall replace fallen dahlias,
and new pups take the place of those adopted,
I am reminded of life’s cycles and the beauty –
and hope –
that still surround.
When you cannot stop horrors from happening, find a way to help. Provide a roof to someone who lost theirs. Foster an animal to bring peace of mind to humans as they struggle to cope. Send money or donate items.
In times of bad, demonstrate good.
Here is a list of ways you can help in Northern California, provided by the Camp Fire’s local paper.