Unfortunately, Northern California officially has a fire season. Not the kind of orange and reds we want to see in the fall. But it’s becoming the norm here and it truly saddens me. We are spoiled here in NorCal. Rarely do we have extreme weather or disasters. While other states deal with hurricanes and tornados we are sitting in beautiful weather, wine tasting and eating good food. However, the last few years have changed that. Quite literally the winds have changed. Every year people are losing their homes, businesses and even worse their lives.
At the time that I write this the Kincade fire has spread to almost 77,000 acres and is still only 30% contained. Mass evacuations occurred in the hopes of getting people to safety before the fire was upon them. Luckily, we had notice of the fire and people were able to evacuate, unlike the fires from two years ago when they were awaken from their sleep at 1am and had no time to pack anything.
I’ve been one of the lucky ones. The only affect this has had on my life is that my town is the evacuation site. Oh and the smoke I’m breathing. But really, I’m charmed compared to what others are going through. I didn’t even lose power during the shut offs.
Though I haven’t been impacted in these ways, it has hit me emotionally. I worry for friends and colleagues who are in the fire zone. It saddens me that my county, the place I’ve lived my whole life, is in this seemingly endless battle and that the landscape I once knew is changing forever. I worry for the first responders. I stop breathing for a half a second every time I hear a siren (as I listen to one go by right now). I feel like I live in a war zone…and in a way I do.
It is also affecting me with growing the business. To be quite honest, growing my business right now seems quite trivial, which makes it very hard to think about social media, classes I’ve scheduled, etc. Why would anyone care what I’m doing right now with all this going on around us?
Then I think about comedians after 911. How some had a hard time getting up on stage and making jokes while the nation was mourning. But then we found it can be quite cathartic to laugh when we are sad. It helps us to heal, to pull ourselves from the quagmire, and to move on.
So I hope if you were temporarily displaced during the fires or if you are just feeling a little blue, that you put a bouquet of fresh flowers in your home. I don’t care if you get them from the grocery store or a florist, flowers will help to lift your spirits and fight depression. Plus they add a little color to our currently ash colored state.
I want to say a great big, huge, ginormous, thank you to all the first responders who have put their lives on the line and have had to leave their families and homes to fight these fires. You will always have my gratitude and respect.
To everyone else out there, things are chaotic and emotions are strained, so be safe and be kind to one another (stole that last line from Ellen).
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May your day be filled with flowers!