Fires, Holidays & Gratitude – Part I

We in the Bay Area finally received the gift of rain during this holiday season as the hellish Camp Fire ravaged parts of Northern California this month. The air has been heavy with smoke and ash, and the sun has been apocalyptically orange hidden behind a veil of haze and hanging heavy in the sky.

This picture was taken only a few miles from our home. It has been hard to breath and the dreary landscape created by this elemental force as it rapaciously devoured the environment was demoralizing on a primal level.  There was a communal feeling of horror and powerlessness as our hearts and prayers went out to those who were losing their homes, pets, communities, and lives, and as aid efforts were made. We had to stay inside as much as possible and I could not walk my dog. Then, finally, the rain washed the skies clean in a Thanksgiving gift of pure relief. This is a picture taken from a walk we were finally able to take during the holiday weekend.

What I am thinking about during this season is how we cope with feelings of powerlessness and gratitude. For me this has come from the glaring realization that as I continue going about the daily business of taking care of myself and my family–going to work, getting food on the table, and walking the dog, there are people suffering from the most devastating fires in our state’s history.

Questions of powerlessness in the face of suffering, and gratitude in the face of living are up for me now. I want to explore further these ideas next post. In the meantime, I wanted to share that first picture of my hibiscus that bloomed in glorious color after the rain, and also this enormous cauliflower that is growing abundantly in my garden and also just loved the rain! Life keeps pushing through. This is giving me much hope. More to come. Bless!