As if things aren’t strange enough in Covid World these days, now we have evacuations from forest fires in the mountains to the north.
We’re not threatened with fire or evacuation here, but we are getting smoke and ash fall now and then, not enough to curtail our daily walks, but noticeable.
The fires are from a late night thunderstorm that rattled in from the ocean and stabbed the forests with thousands of lightning bolts, starting dozens of fires fed by dense undergrowth resulting from decades of fire suppression.
If it were only the forests that burned, it would be normal for this part of the world. But, of course, humans have built their homes, businesses and towns within or adjacent to the forest and thus subject to to the fires that keep the forest healthy.
I suspect, or maybe it’s just hope, that some time from now this weird year will result in changes in the way local humans spread themselves about the landscape and interact with the natural world. Maybe we’ll learn that we can’t live in high density tower blocks, packed cheek by jowl in downtown canyons of glass and concrete. Perhaps we are learning that it’s not a good idea to build flammable homes in the flammable forests.
It would be good if we humans could learn from these hard lessons of disease and fire about how to live in the natural world, without destroying it or being destroyed by it.
Stranger things have happened!