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:
N. CA fires

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.

Thank you.

Love and gardening blessings,
Kathryn xoxo

26 Responses to “Fire”

  1. Dear Kathryn,
    I am praying for you. Beauty might be dangerous as well. I hope you will be safe.
    BTW there is an awrd waiting for you at my blog, maybe you would like to know ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Sending you positive energy, Kathryn. Some call that prayers.

    Hope you’ll keep telling us what you see.

  3. Kathryn, wise preparations. I hope you and yours remain safe. My thoughts are with those fighting the blazes and those whose safety and property may be threatened by all the fires.

  4. What a beautiful sight! May God keep you and yours safe.

  5. Dearest Ewa, David, Linda and Mary–Your prayers and well wishes are appreciated. I join you in hoping for the best for those on the direct lines. Their bravery is remarkable. Love, Kathryn xox

  6. Kathryn,

    I pray that you and your companions continue to be safe. Please keep us apprised if you can.~~Dee

  7. Dear Ewa! I am honored, proud and very pleased to accept the Arte and Pico Award! Thank you so much for the bestowal! I will arrange today! Hugs! Kathryn xoxo

  8. David, it if happens again I will be there with my digital Pentax, at last, to document to the best of my humble abilities. I will be pretending to be David Perry, as I know you would do precisely that. The blessing of the beauty–and the dramatic consequences thereafter. This is quite a yoga, and not quite like anything I have experienced before. Indeed, this is a first in this county in recorded history. I suspect the Indians who lived here before, the Pomo and Wailaki, saw it. I am aware, vaguely, of the reptilian part of my brain and am in scant dialogue with it, comforting it with the sacredness of work and routine. What I “see” might be largely internal. ๐Ÿ™‚ One can hope. Kathryn xox

  9. Hi, Dee–I thought of you last night and of your stories of the forces of nature in Oklahoma, which actually encouraged me to go ahead and share my current reality. Thanks for paving the way, and for your prayers. I know you understand. Love, Kathryn xox

  10. Those fires are so devastating. You’re very wise to make sure that all your ducks are in a row should you — heaven forbid — have to evacuate. All it takes is a shift of wind direction (as many here in Nova Scotia discovered two weeks ago) to change the whole complexion of the fire. Sending good thoughts your way and hoping for an end to all the blazes.

  11. Hi, Nancy–You echo my sentiments precisely. Thank you. Kathryn xxox

  12. Kathryn,

    I think sometimes God sends us trouble to remind us to be grateful for our blessings. I will, however, continue to pray that your troubles will be only large enough to accomplish that, and not large enough to cause damage. Surely He knows how grateful you are and how you share your beautiful surroundings with all of us!

  13. I’m fine tuning all of that, Loma, I can assure you! ๐Ÿ™‚ I will never again mumble when all the guys are out with their motors doing this and that, being “noisy.” Right now I would welcome it. They aren’t because they are locked in their houses or out on some fire line or they’ve left for cleaner air. Lessons abound: get grounded, stay centered, be prepared, don’t TRIP, be grateful. Thanks for your well wishes. Love, Kathryn xox

  14. Thank you for sharing this with us, as it is a part of nature and so important. We are praying for you! Glad you are prepared. Stay safe!
    Huge *HUGS* and Much Love, Antonia xoxox

  15. Hi, Baby Girl! Good to see you here at this spot this morning. Thank you, dear. Love, Mom xoxo

  16. Oh, my goodness, I am just getting to reading this! Yes, our thoughts create our worlds. I am off now to pray for you, and for all who are in fire situations there in California.

    God bless,

  17. Hi, CurtissAnn, I just posted this last night (all that time to cogitate!) ๐Ÿ™‚ Prayers welcomed. Thank you! I’m comforting myself reading about Valentine, Oklahoma in the evenings. All those cowboys in sleeveless shirts and trucks… ๐Ÿ™‚ Kathryn xoxoxo

  18. Kathryn, We have been thinking about you and the fires. I am glad you are safe! The smoke is noticable here miles away. It smells like smoke. I really notice it in the morning. The light is amber colored. All rather disturbing. I am glad the lizard is back!

  19. Oh, hi, Philip! Yes, you would notice down there. And you must be getting it from the South as well (or will). And, yes, I was so glad to see my lizard! He was gone for a couple of days (or hiding) and I was happy to see his little face yesterday! Poor little thing. I even fantasized bringing him indoors for a couple of weeks into a terrarium or something, but I will let nature take its course. He looks OK. Thanks for checking in!
    Kathryn xox

  20. Stay safe, dear Kathryn! I have been wondering about you and how you were faring. How sad you sound and rightly so. Please know that you and your beautiful California are in my thoughts and prayers.

  21. Hi, Joey, It’s a process, and I probably won’t be able to make total sense of the process until I’m on the other side of it. You know? Meanwhile I maintain my normal rhythms and pay attention and stay grateful that this is temporary and will undoubtedly yield more stories and learning. Thanks for visiting. Love, Kathryn xox

  22. Well Kathyrn, I got more than I expected visiting you today!

    I can completely understand why a posting on cool green leaves would be the furthest thing from your mind when when you are looking at hot dry and burning ones. This is where our gardens and lives across the world really show how different our climates are.

    Sending best wishes from Scotland where I couldn’t even begin to imagine where you are now. My thoughts are with you, your family the emergency workers putting out the fires. They are also with all the birds and wildlife that are in danger too.

    Wishing you a good weekend is a bit weak. Stay safe ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Hi, Shirl–Thank you for visiting. Yes, it’s a bit surrealistic, frankly. And safety is high on the list. And, yes, my heart goes out to the wildlife and if you want to put out special prayers, there are three stands of ancient old-growth redwoods not far from here needing special protection. And here I am in the midst of it taking photos of zucchini blossoms full of bumblebees, its having dawned on me that haze is a bit like low light. Life does go on. I’m witnessing it. Now if someone would just convince the Border Collies that now is not a good time to “go swimming”! ๐Ÿ™‚ Kathryn, who is going to go make some nice scones. Really. ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Goodness, glad you’re ok and hoping you and your family stay safe. I can only imagine how worrying it must all be but you write with such beauty and grace.

    Wishing you well. xx

  25. Oh, Mrs. Be, you are so kind to say so. Thank you for your concern. It is looking like we will most likely not be getting more lightening (20% chance), so that would be a huge blessing. It’s simply a stay indoors time, for folks like myself. Bake those scones! Write to dear bloggers. Read Southern novels, always a good pastime. Keep everything watered down. Thanks for the visit. ๐Ÿ™‚ Kathryn xox

  26. Great pictures!

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