#31: Southern California Ablaze
These last couple of weeks have brought about numerous hurdles and emotions… but, right now, the front lines are clear. In southern California, we are – once again – on fire.
I live in Pasadena. Pasadena is in LA county. LA county has fires. Fire is scary and gross. My heart goes out to northwestern LA county and southern Ventura county with the five bazillion fires happening right now. I was actually planning on going to look at a condo in Thousand Oaks on Friday, only to be deterred by the ginormous plume of smoke coming from the area (sadly, this was less than two days following the horrific shooting at Borderline – lots of love to TO right now!). Gone are the twinkling lights of Los Angeles as I drive over the 134W to work in the wee hours of the morning. For now, we see nothing but thick nasty smoke and blood moons (the latter of which is eerily captivating). Close your windows and sunroofs, it looks like Armageddon outside.
In Pasadena, we are about 40-50 miles southeast of the fires (much closer to the Griffith Park fire which was thankfully contained!); but yesterday, the smoke descended upon us. Not just the visible smoke, but also the smell. I cannot imagine what it’s like up in TO, Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Malibu, and beyond. I have friends in Malibu who were evacuated, friends in TO who I encouraged to evacuate, more friends in the area marking themselves safe on Facebook, and a little voice in the back of my head that’s saying, “There are dry hills right behind you too, my pretty.” These are scary times. While the cause of these fires is obviously unclear at this time, as authorities are focused on containment efforts… I am not even joking when I tell you that many of these massive fires are caused by – wait for it – a careless smoker who absently tossed a cigarette to the ground. Seriously. The Santa Ana winds sweep by, grab that spark, and before you know it… tens of thousands of people and animals are being evacuated, hundreds are losing their homes, and some even lose their lives.
I am vehemently against ALL types of smoking for physical health purposes (I can explain the pathophysiology of lung and heart disease to you individually if you’d like – feel free to message me!); but, if you are going to choose to kill yourself slowly with that nasty habit, at least put your cigarettes out and save the lives of others and the environment in the process… just saying.
My soap box aside, there is a sadness that envelops our counties at this time. We are sad for the deceased, the displaced, the toxins in our air, and what it might mean for the future of our Earth as a whole. It makes us wonder where we should live, what can we change, and how can we help. Rest assured, there are answers. We can be a part of the aid; we can watch as people reach out to one another; we can come together in faith. There is always hope. There is always love. We just have to choose it. Who’s with me?
*** This post is obviously dedicated to those affected by the current raging fires, as well as to the firefighters, law enforcement, and first responders involved in containment, order, and relief efforts. God be with you. ***