Very early Saturday morning I felt Ruby lick my hand as I slept. “What is it, Ru?” No response. I drifted back into sleep. Again I felt a light lick on my hand. “You’re going outside,” I said. “Come on, Conner. Go outside with Ruby.” They jumped off the bed and made their way to the door leading to the garden and out they went. I went back towards the kitchen and bam! I heard them both leaping against the back door. How strange. I opened it and they raced in. Framing their scurrying bodies was a blinding flash of light across the western sky. Half asleep I struggled to understand what I was witnessing. Full recognition dawned on me as the flash was followed immediately by a brilliant jagged lightening bolt making its way to the ground from high in the night sky. Oh dear God. “By the grace of God there will be no fires, ” I said aloud. And then I stood transfixed watching the stupendous beauty that repeated itself over and over again. I watched in utter fascinating and thrill even while I knew in my heart of hearts this spelled Trouble for the county. And trouble for the county arrived. Over 6,000 lightening bolts struck the Earth, our earth, our Northern California earth, that night. And more thunderstorms are predicted for Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night. There are currently 1,026 fires burning in my beloved Northern California, 10% of them right here in Mendocino. There were more. Nearly all are not being tended. Only those threatening life and human limb and home are being fought. The rest, quite naturally, and probably in the long run, healthily, are being left to find their way to extinction. The man power is stretched thin. The equipment is scarce. Resources are being used the best way they can think at the moment. Here’s what the northern half of our state looks like today:
I, and my garden are down there in the midst of that, thriving. Really.
Being a thoughtful girl, I am challenged to watch my thoughts, ascertain where they are coming from. Distinguish which ones are worthy thoughts and should be honored and acted upon. Buy hepafilters. Two. Buy a hepafilter mask. One. Buy extra water. Make note of the dog crate and extra bag of dogfood in the car. Take out the cat carriers and have them ready. What do I cherish that would need to accompany me should it come to that? What, indeed?
The jays are on their own. No clean air for them, poor things. No clean air for my pet lizard who has kept me company in the front garden all spring. But this afternoon out he came, from under the lavender where he continues to choose to live, to sunbathe, there in the haze. Life goes on. And he’s bigger! Life and growth go on. The tomatoes are bearing seven tomatoes. Large orange flowers bloom from the zucchini and pumpkins and spaghetti squash. Nothing stops or hesitates in the face of danger. Only I cogitate.
I settle for making a mental list of all I am grateful for. I’m not out in the boonies. We are safe now. The gas tank is full and ready. There are friends nearby making it clear I would be welcome there should it come to that. Would it come to that?
The only moment is this one. This precious one when I’m writing to all of you, grateful for your readership, for your showing up again and again. For your kind words and encouragement. For your laughing at my humor. For visiting with me on the journeys I take close and closer. Far and farther.
Love and gardening blessings,
Posted on June 25th, 2008 by Kathryn
Filed under: People at Life