Thursday, December 7, 2017

Ojai Surrounded By Wildfires

Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.
Swedish Proverb

The fire started somewhere around here, close to the lovely town of Santa Paula. 

I read the Washington Post on my Kindle every morning, while having my breakfast in bed. For some reason, they have a reporter in Ojai covering the wildfires. This is what I read, and why I'm posting this. Don't know what I'm posting yet, but I do know that "shared sorrow is half a sorrow," so here I am, and here is what I read:

The largest of the wildfires - the Thomas fire, which spanned about 140 square miles in Ventura Country, roughly equal to the entire city of Philadelphia - surrounded Ojai on Thursday morning, officials said, endangering the popular winter retreat that is normally home to about 8,000 people. Most of the Ojai Valley was under a mandatory evacuation order. 

Between 1976 and 1985, I spent ten spring vacations in Ojai and, for me, the town is so much more than a winter retreat. It's a place where people come to seek spiritual growth and understanding; it's a place where artists gather, inspired by the beauty of the valley and the majesty of the mountains that surround it; it's a place of memories for me, of good friends, good food, hikes in the mountains, and so much more.

Rachael and I spent a day in Ojai last spring and I posted these three posts from there:

As I'm writing this, I'm calming down a bit and realizing that this is all equally horrific, from the poorest people losing their homes to Rupert Murdoch's vineyards buring down for all to see on TV. 

About 150,000 books here. And a wonderful tradition of trust, going back decades. I wrote about it in one of the posts above.

I don't watch TV in the mornings, so I don't know what else is going on. I just wanted to share my sorrow, the sorrow I feel for Ojai. 

But then, as I'm writing this, other sorrows come to mind. The sorrow I feel for the animals, the wild animals with nowhere to escape, so many horses that could not be saved, that will not be saved, other livestock, and pets. And the people suffering through all this.

The dogs and I are OK. We will be under Red Flag alert if the winds pick up, but so far it's calm here. I'm hoping that our cold nights will reduce the danger and so grateful to the tractor guy who cleared my land. 

Thanks for listening.


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