Beyond the Smoke…California Wildfires

I still remember my first structure fire. What most stood out to my rookie self was not the roar of the flames, the pitch dark churning smoke to the floor, the cracking popping sounds of items reaching their ignition point, or the adrenaline rushing through me. It was after the fire was out that struck me the most. While the academy trained us to run toward flames, force entry, rescue, handle hose lines and get to the fire, I wasn’t prepared for this.

The shock I was feeling.

The shock I was feeling taking in the devastation of alligator charred beams, hanging ceilings, remnants of furniture strewn as if a tornado came through, a dangling staircase, burned belongings, melted family pictures, destroyed heirlooms. The twisted shapes of what was once a kitchen toaster or a lamp. The peeled and blackened wallpaper of a child’s room. It was hard to imagine the bright home it had once been. And even more impossible to imagine any brightness it might be once again…

The skies have been smokey here with eerily beautiful sunsets and suffocating nights. But I’ve been watching. And despite the filmy chaos of the skies, the sun and the moon are still doing their thing. Rising, setting, and shining – albeit behind a smokey veil. My heart goes out to all those feeling shock and loss and grief. The stories of people coming together and taking care of one another are heartening.

Let’s take care of each other now and long after the smoke lifts. Maybe it is possible to live through storms and remain as constant to each other as the sun and the moon. 🙏🏾✨

#sendinglovetoyousantacruz🧡#czulightningcomplex #LNULightningComplex #SCULightningComplex