A Little Closer To California

Fate, Bud, and Liam staying dry in the pole barn this morning

It’s a wet and warm Halloween on the farm.  Yesterday I got a few emails from blog readers in California who are close to the fires burning there.

Although I see the images and hear the panic and pain in the voices of people on the news, receiving an email from someone who I’ve had a personal interaction with online, because they bought something I made or we had a conversation over something I’ve written, brings the fires closer to me emotionally.

So when I went out to the barnyard this morning and my boots squished in the rain-soaked earth, I felt grateful for enough rain without it being too much.

And I’m thinking about the people I know, not by what their faces look like or their voices sound like, but by the pieces of art they’ve bought from me,  the often simple exchanges we’ve had through email and by their addresses.

Shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 my ex-husband and I were traveling across the country by car.  I still think about one woman we met in a parking lot somewhere in Georgia.   Her orange hair pulled back in a bun from her very pale face, she was wearing a soft pink dress and brown spectator shoes.  Looking at our license plate from New York she said in the quietest voice that what happened was a shame and how sorry she was.

Geography separates us.

That woman didn’t know how far or close we lived to New York City, but it was if what happened, although it affected the whole country, really happened to everyone in New York.  Just by out being in the same parking lot,  we brought the tragedy a little closer to her, made it a little more real.

That’s how I feel about the fires in California.  Like that woman in the parking lot, saying I’m so sorry.

And when I wondered if my words and thoughts have any meaning or just sound empty and useless, it’s her I thought of.  Because I know that even though I can still see her so clearly in my mind, it’s not because of what she looked like or how she dressed,  it’s because what she said meant something to me.

It gave me a little comfort and made me feel a little less afraid, at least, for the moment.

4 thoughts on “A Little Closer To California

  1. Our son and daughter-in-law live in the Los Angeles area. My oldest nephew works on the Slide Ranch in Marin County. We got a photo of him last week transporting a large goat to a safer location in his small car, while other staff members transported most of the other ranch critters to various places. Our dearest friends live in Davis, not far from Sacramento. Their youngest son and his family live in the San Francisco suburbs and their oldest son and his family live somewhere between LA and SF. So we are holding a lot of “family” in thoughts and prayers.

  2. Thank you for your comment about California. Being 3-4 hours north of the fires doesn’t mean that much separation for us. The blackouts have affected us – highway closures have affected us and of course, knowing people in the fire areas has affected us. An inconvenience in our county (Humboldt) but really close to home in so many ways. Even my sister in Southern CA was evacuated from her home last week……for 2 people in their mid-70’s and not great health it was scary. The good part is that this is such a wake up call – to be prepared, to help our neighbors and to appreciate each other. In it’s own way, shared adversity is enlightening. Warmly, Linda

    1. That shared adversity also bring us together in a way that might not happen otherwise. I wish you the best Linda. The fires are so far reaching.

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