i always get the two confused. i mean, in daily conversation, i’m often discussing thermal convection and frontal lifting but i can never get nimbostratus and stratocumulus straightened out. ‘WHAT?!’ you may be asking. well, those two words represent commonplace cloud structures in the northwest, but on rare occasions, you’ll see them in southern california. on rare occassions like today. what’s so special about those two words? they’re clouds that are heavily laden with moisture. moisture and a rise in humidity that the firefighters here in california badly need. listening to the news this morning, it’s sounding like they’re making headway with the fire in arrowhead, which, overnight, destroyed 300+ homes.
i sat transfixed, watching hour after hour of live news feeds from the front lines of the fire last night. car chases can’t even hold a candle to fire reporting. several of the reports were following folks as they explored the charred remains of their homes. it brought me to tears several times as homeowners wandered aimlessly through the rubble.
yes, i know it’s only stuff. if asked to evacuate, i’d grab some pictures, some clothes and a laptop and skedaddle, no questions asked. everything material can be replaced, it’s true, but there is a connection to our stuff. whether it’s the dried flowers from a first date, or a crock pot, used once, that my mother bought for me on a trip out here, every bit of stuff holds memory. i can only imagine the emotional distress that those homeowners are going through, each burnt and twisted item bringing back floods of memories.
there were several news reports of folks trying to raise money for the fire victims. yes, i’m sure they’re going to need money to replace all the lost stuff, and insurance will cover most of that. what i see them needing more than the cash is human contact. a hug, an encouraging word, emotional support. it seems that the first thing people think to do is throw money at the problem and then consider it fixed. how about setting up a hug & cry station at the evacuation center. ‘free shoulder to cry on’ should be the sign above the booth.
the kids don’t need replacement halloween costumes and candy, the parents don’t need a new stereo. they need love and support. and guess what? it’s free. only it seems it’s much too costly to give.

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