Last Year’s Fire Line

For many reasons I’ve been thinking about balance lately. Health and illness, birth and death, creation and destruction. My personal friends know I’ve had a fairly serious illness myself this past month, coupled with some fairly significant health issues affecting close family as well. And here we are nearly upon the one-year anniversary of the first outbreak of deadly wildfire which destroyed so many homes in my own community of Santa Rosa just a year ago. Recovering my own physical health at first involved avoiding much physical exercise, and now involves steadily allowing my stamina to build back. One way I’ve done that is to go hiking again in our local state park, where a second wildfire, coming from the south of Santa Rosa instead of the north of Santa Rosa, also destroyed many homes and lives at nearly the same time. Our rainy season here usually begins some time in October: last year, the first rains came later in the month. This year, we had an inch of rain last week and this allowed the moss to green up again on a stone I’ve been watching and photographing since the first time my normal trail in the park was reopened three weeks after last year’s Nunns fire was declared controlled. That stone is shown in the gallery below, with the most recent photo first and working backward. Date of the photo is indicated in format yymmdd, if you’re curious.

With a good friend I also drove up and over the hills to the north — hills from which this panorama shot  just below, which looks south,was taken — there’s a major road across the mountains there along which many homes and businesses were destroyed in this week last year. There is some rebuilding happening and many lots cleared and seemingly prepped for rebuilding — just as a small tree in the second gallery, which last year was burned, is putting out a second season of new leaves now. You might need to enlarge some of the gallery photos to even see the burned parts lower down: the scars all across our landscape are already fading compared to what they were a year ago, though the vacant lots remain quite visible and the scars in the community and landscapre are certainly real. I feel fortunate to live in a community which came together in mutual support when faced with such challenge and destruction. I hope our human family more broadly will find constructive and healing ways to bridge our sometimes seemingly unbridgeable divides, on a larger scale and for a longer time. Balance, moderation, and an honest acquaintance with global realities seem quite necessary for longer-term health and survival of our planet and species, from what I’ve seen and experienced around this beautiful complicated world we all call home. Peace – health – balance.

8 responses

  1. Diane Rachiele

    Gorgeous photos, Paul … incredible how nature renews itself, and possibly that is why people do not understand the difference between renewable landscapes, and the permanent damage caused by humans that cannot all heal.

    October 9, 2018 at 13:40

    • Thanks so much for your super-fast comment, Diane. Indeed, much to amaze in the world :-). Are you well? Hugs — Paul

      October 9, 2018 at 13:42

  2. Hi Paul, my my, northern California truly is beautiful. Thanks for the great pictures!

    October 10, 2018 at 06:00

  3. Lynne

    Paul – I don’t chime in very often, but wanted you to know that I’m still here, lurking, watching, and digesting all of your adventures. I’m so happy to learn that you are feeling better, and gearing up for another MSF gig. I’m holding you and your dear mom in my heart with love, and do hope to see you sometime when next in the NE US. Miss you –


    October 10, 2018 at 08:11

  4. Rosa Auat

    I hope all will work well for you dear Paul !!! I’m living in Brussels this days

    October 11, 2018 at 04:45

    • Thanks, Rosa – great to hear from you. I’m not on fb any more, so I’ve lost track of you a bit. I’d love to learn more about how and what you’re up to in Brussels. Hope all well!

      October 11, 2018 at 08:23

  5. Sarah Quinnell

    Hi Paul….. Still good to get your updates and hear your news. Love and best wishes to you and your family. Stay safe, Sarah xx

    October 14, 2018 at 23:14

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