After a half month of mandatory absence, evacuating in a blur under raining ash and advancing fires, residents were allowed entry into their homes this week. One of the most disturbing days of my life.
We all have disturbing days. The longer we live, the more pain and sorrow we collect, watching loved ones leave this world, and worse. But I’ll not go into the details of that deeply painful day, I’ll let the photos tell that story.
This section of forest, above, used to be my “favorite maple” section. Big Leaf Maple trees, they wore big yellow lobed leaves every autumn, and bright green new leaves each spring.
There’s a sunrise unfolding as I write this from my temporary housing. It’s a stunning view of the San Francisco Bay, I’ll show you in a minute.
We lost all our out-buildings (three), but not the house. All tools, winter clothes, luggage, some office equipment; plus irreplaceable items like the Christmas ornaments we have collected for 30 years from all over the world, and 40 years of my journals.
Before and After of Athena’s Work Studio.
This week we’re staying on an inlet of the bay; and as we file claims, cancel accounts and trips, and inquire into temporary apartments, the tide flows in, and the tide flows out.
I’ve counted 27 bird species here this week, and one day a sea lion came to visit.
Before and After of Our Electrical Panel. The “before” photo was originally taken for the bird nest tucked in the center. A Pacific-slope Flycatcher raised four chicks there in 2006.
We cannot return to our house for a few months until the electrical, plumbing, and septic systems are fixed. We were up there twice this week. On Monday, the first day, we walked around in goggles and face masks, wandered from one melted mass to another. The charred trees wavered overhead in the wind, threatening to topple.
On Thursday, when we returned, we found five men from the power company sitting in our driveway, one was eating potato chips. It was their lunchtime and they were there to cut down trees for the new power line.
Every day here in our Airbnb there’s a snowy egret that cruises in, and a kingfisher who arrives and departs with a rattle and a swoop. Willets linger on the rocks. Three Canada Geese spend every night here, and every morning they honk as they lift their big bodies into the sky.
Each day brings a new dawn, no matter where we are. And the longer we live, the more glorious sunrises we have.
Photo credit: Athena Alexander
Gracious thanks for all your warm comments, encouragement, and support, my friends and loved ones.