I couldn’t believe what I saw during Sunday morning’s hike into the mountain trails of Montecito, CA: an extinguished campfire site! Given there were warning signs posted – not to mention the recent outbreak of flaming disasters in the state – about the high risk for wildfires, I was shocked. And, saddened.
What were these people thinking? If they were true lovers of nature, they wouldn’t have even considered starting a fire, no matter how small. Thankfully, this reckless action didn’t erupt into something catastrophic, but it certainly had the potential.
For a moment, I felt myself burning with anger. Then, I remembered that for every one person who doesn’t consider the welfare of the land, there are hundreds and thousands, and yes, millions who do. The majesty of the great outdoors is my temple, a place to connect with the good and God within. During my lengthy hikes, I often situate atop a boulder and meditate, perhaps with only the sounds of a babbling brook or chirping birds to keep me company.
That’s why I’m especially thankful for the firefighters and first-responders who have gone beyond the call of duty during the recent blazes in California. And, there are others too, neighbors helping neighbors with comfort, care and concern.
Businesses came to the aid as well. In Santa Rosa, CA, the Astro Motel wasn’t expected to open its doors until another week or so, but the manager accelerated the date to accommodate wildfire evacuees….for free! To provide shelter and basic necessities was the lodge’s way of helping their fellow citizens in a time of need.
I’d give that motel a five star rating!
Love and light,