Two weeks ago our lovely little slice of heaven found itself on fire. Not the “this wine is fire” compliment, but literal flames. In the tidal rush of trauma, survivors, fatalities, and evacuations we all, every person in Northern California, scrambled to save ourselves and our neighbors.

As heroes saved their neighbors and the global community sprang to action to help Californians, many of us (myself included) found hope in the collective rally-cry California Strong.

We all now find ourselves baptized by fire, forged stronger and more resilient.

John Walsh published this article to that effect in the Sonoma Index-Tribune.

Unfortunately, that’s not a picture I can take. It’s not a story I can write.  It’s a kaleidoscope of images we collectively own and a chorus of voices of which I am merely one. (And a tone deaf one at that.)

But the picture I did take, the one to savor is this:

Ashen Leaf

That ashen leaf will crumble and blow away in the breeze. But, as we say around Sonoma, the roots run deep. And there will be millions more where that came from. Green, lush, and stronger for the trial.

The smoke was thick but quickly blown through. The fog remains, as it ever does, it the valleys and among the rolling landscape it calls home.

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