There are a number of terrible wildfires burning nearby right now and the valley I live in is filled with smoke. We get smoke pretty much every summer at some point but this blew in (literally, on once-in-a-generation easterly winds) within minutes and it’s worse than I’ve ever seen it before. The sun is a blood-red ball and the skies are dark greyish-yellow, casting an unsettling light that doesn’t feel anything close to normal. The air is filled with ashy particles that almost look like snow, they’re almost pretty in how they drift and dance, in the way that flames can be mesmerizing even as they obliterate.

The outside matches the inside, is what I keep thinking. Everything everywhere feels like it is burning, acres and acres that are literally engulfed and people in beds with soaring temperatures. Violence in the streets and people struggling to breathe. Angry rhetoric being spat by our great leader adding more fuel to it all.

Our phones keep jittering and buzzing with emergency alerts and everything smells black and scorched and it’s hard to remember that even after the worst fires there is new growth. It’s hard to imagine what things might eventually look like, here in the burn.

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LizScott
LizScott
1 year ago

Honestly, I thought the apocalypse would be less…full of mundane routine tasks. Like, cool, the world is ending, also let me go make some kid lunches that won’t get eaten. Where is my Will Smith montage? Sheesh.

Leslie
Leslie
1 year ago

Great. F’ing. Analogy. Hope you all stay safe through the fires. And I cling to the fact that there is always new growth after devastation – I certainly hope that for our country and world.

PETE J HAIDINYAK
PETE J HAIDINYAK
1 year ago

I hope your family is safe and well

Mary Walsh
Mary Walsh
1 year ago

Very apt analogy. For what it’s worth, I’m thinking good thoughts for you family and the towns/homes in Oregon.

Suzanne
1 year ago

Beautifully, hauntingly said.

Hoping you and your loved ones stay safe.

Elizabeth_K
Elizabeth_K
1 year ago

Be well, be safe, we are thinking of you on the west coast …

Sheila
Sheila
1 year ago

I’ve been thinking about you guys, be safe.

Shawna
Shawna
1 year ago

Every time I read about the ashy flakes, I think of The Upside Down in Stranger Things.

Anu
Anu
1 year ago

Hope you’re staying safe!!

Martha Pepek
Martha Pepek
1 year ago

Thinking of you and yours and hoping you are safe. Your writing is always spot on. I love that I am peripherally connected to quite a few brilliant, prolific, writers who always manage to put into words that which I am feeling in the moment.