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The fires in Oregon are mostly under control as I understand. Many of us feel fortunate that we did not lose our homes. I personally know two friends who did. In Eugene, we endured 10+ days of smoke from the Holiday Farm fire. It burned my throat and made me cough. It seeped into my apartment through the door and the portable AC window. Even after I plugged the gap I could see the haze in my room. My apartment got hot. I used the AC, but it didn't filter everything and didn't cool effectively. I felt sympathy for those who did not have what I have. Ash filtered down from the sky with bits of wood. The sky was orange as if I was on Mars. I sequestered myself inside except for two days, only going out for food and to help my daughter. As the cloud lingered, it felt like Armageddon; Ragnarok; the end of days. But the world didn't end. Eventually, the wind shifted and the smoke began to dissipate. People stepped outside for the first time in days. They breathed deeply and realized how good it felt. Those who could, helped those in need.

Fire is a cleansing. It provides a new beginning. Our trials, be they through fire or storm or drought, build who we are. My song "Phoenix Rising" bears witness to our 'adventure' in this life.

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