I don’t mean to sound overly sentimental, but I can say that my heart felt extremely heavy recently as I watched Internet reports (because television news wasn’t covering it) of so many wildfires burning out west. Our family has driven through the same places that were burning and spent a lot of time enjoying others.
Places along the Sierra Nevada Range in California were ablaze. The giant trees of Yosemite National Park, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park were all being threatened. I’ve stood in those places looking up at trees that already were growing when Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt; trees that were sacred to some and abused by others. And here they were facing the threat from flames out of control. Many of them are hearty survivors of fires long since past. Thankfully, many of them still stand tall and strong awaiting even more visitors.
Western Montana, Washington and part of Oregon were filled with wildfires that threatened homes and national monuments and hundreds of thousands of acres of forests. A couple of the places our family particularly enjoyed were in the midst of the conflagration in the Columbia River Gorge. A little town named Cascade Locks, where we used to go with friends to a place on the river for burgers and relaxation and fellowship. A few miles west from there, Multnomah Falls fell freely from the heights of the gorge, welcoming tourists and locals alike for a fun day of hiking while enjoying the cool spray of the magnificent falls and visiting the historic lodge. The flames came way too close to destroying the lodge and the bridges along the path to the falls themselves. As our middle daughter said when she saw pictures of the area engulfed in raging wind and flames: It made my heart sad.
While Harvey was having his way with south Texas and Florida was bracing for a bitter blast from Irma, the west was burning. And I never heard a thing about the fires from the mainstream media. Makes one wonder who chooses what gets coverage and who chooses what is, in fact, news.
Sometimes I wonder if the fires out west aren’t, just maybe, a sign of what’s going on all around our nation. Surely, if left unattended and unrestrained, the hate filled actions of those who would deface, destroy and vandalize statues of historic figures, and those who would launch needless and brutal protests against whatever they disagree with, and those who would decry the very document that gives them the right to “peacefully” assemble, will soon fan the flames of civil discord to the point of civil war.
I’ve noticed that now, as many join hands to provide relief and support for the people devastated by the recent hurricanes, there are those who would go right back to attacking each other and destroying public property while blatantly ignoring the laws of the land.
I’m sure there will be a line of cable and network news satellite trucks standing by to capture it all on video just to fan the flames.