This is a photo taken Monday two blocks from my office in Orange County. I was working from home that day; safe in my ocean-side pocket of smoke, surrounded by the Malibu fires to the north and OC fires in the south. Needless to say my office was evacuated. It feels like my beloved state is burning to the ground. Maya and Mina are kept indoors during P.E. and recess. The smoke has been ridiculous; the sunsets spectacular and eerie. The weather is strangest of all. It is in the 90's. The hot Santa Ana winds have died down, but the autumnal heat feels unnatural and put upon us. Californians always make myth out of the Santa Ana winds as it is. We rumor that they blow in earthquakes. We are always cautiously silent about the fire hazards caused by these winds; like we're simply waiting for an ignition. Typically I love the Santa Anas just because of the mysterious feel; they are pleasant and haunting. But who can not feel belittled by natural destruction.
My good friend Rebel Girl's house is in serious jeopardy; it may have already been lost. It's hard to tell with the media coverage and no solid news. She updates frequently here. They have been displaced for three days. Her husband and four year old son keep her hopeful though they have no exact word on the condition of their house. Hope and too much TV coverage have been cruel. She says she's burned down the house three times in her mind. Putting her family's face to the 500,000 evacuees uneases me. This is the second largest evacuation in our country's history; the largest in our state. Lives spared is a great thing, but starting over seems overwhelmingly exhausting and daunting. A hard punch to the ground. I'm sure at times it can feel cleansing too, and that's one of the best traits that living creatures possess; a sick resiliency.
Good thoughts. Send us your good, cooling and drenched thoughts.