Our friends and the fire

Northern California is on fire. A news item in the Los Angeles Times includes this description:

Middletown suffered a devastating blow from the Valley fire. Entire blocks of homes and structures were burned to the ground. Images of the devastation show the town’s main street in flames, along with an apartment complex and part of a school.

Sharon Woita’s Middletown home is gone.

“A neighbor said there are only three houses left on our block,” she said.

MaskHarbin Hot Springs, according to the story, has burned down, as have other tourist facilities. One of the service providers who work at Harbin, a lovely lady named Alaya, gave me a watsu treatment during a retreat I attended some years ago. Watsu involves guiding a person through the water in a large pool. It was sublime in spite of appearing to be utterly simple. This fire has destroyed many homes and many jobs. Animals are also at risk, of course.

The Valley Fire has consumed more than 50,000 acres (20,200 hectares) since igniting Saturday in rural Lake County, California, about 50 miles (80 kms) west of Sacramento, the state capital, fire officials said on Sunday.—Newsweek

News like this is yet another reminder to appreciate what is, and that nothing is permanent. It also reminds us to be alert to opportunities to support, assist, and encourage others.

Sheriff Brian Martin described the fire as “the worst tragedy Lake County has ever seen.”—Los Angeles Times

I write this at 6 a.m., and the news is reporting the ongoing challenges of the fires blazing in and around the famous wine country.

“I lost my business — it’s all burned up — my shop, my house, 28 years of living,” Joe Thomas, who lives near the community of Mountain Ranch, told The Associated Press. “I got to start all over. It’s depressing.”—Newsweek (includes photos and video)

This is a lesson in gratitude for me.

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