“I firmly believe, from what I have seen, that this is the chosen spot of all this earth as far as nature is concerned.”
― Luther Burbank
So said America’s preeminent horticulturist of Sonoma County. It has been a tough day in the chosen spot. Much has burned and much continues to burn. The sudden flames battled through the hills and then spilled out into the Santa Rosa Plain, leaving destruction and tears in its wake. My parents house, the house I grew up in, is ashes. Thankfully my parents are quite well and are in good spirits. I honestly think I am taking it harder than they are, though they no doubt are still in shock to some degree. I certainly am.
The neighborhood I grew up in. My house is just out of frame, across the street from the lot with the red arrow. (Image source unknown)
Sonoma and Napa Counties are my hometown. I love them. I have invested deeply in them over the course of my life. I have hiked them, written about them and been created and shaped by them. They have invested deeply in me. Yet now they hurt and I, and so many others, are hurting too. It has been a rough year for fires.
By the end of the day, I had had enough fire, so I decided to go observe some fire of another kind. Watching the interesting, wispy clouds all day while I paced on the phone, I had already decided to go an imbibe some of Mount Shasta’s beauty at sunset. I was rewarded with beautiful and rather unusual spectacle. As the sun was dropping below the horizon, the mountain – and nothing else – lit up. Gradually, as the light on Mount Shasta faded, the clouds glowed until the sky was aflame. The right kind of flame. Even in the midst of the hurt, it is comforting to know that there is beauty in the world. That it was made and declared good. The hurts will heal. It was a hard day, but ended well. Tomorrow, we can start to pick up the pieces.