July 5th, 2015 by Jan

When I read the book Wild by Cheryl Strand, a line her mother said really struck with me.
“Put yourself in the way of beauty.”

I like to think I do that as often as I can. The sunrise, sunsets, ocean views and snow capped mountains around here make it very easy to be in the way of beauty, on a regular basis.

I also make it a point to keep myself shielded from the ugly. I don’t watch the news, or violent movies, I hide my eyes under blankets and turn my head at mans inhumanity, and most cruel things of the world.

I am not ignorant — it is just that participation in sights and sounds that make me uncomfortable… Well, they make me uncomfortable and while turning my head, doesn’t change anything; not staring, is how I deal.

I know I have a really good life, I am first to know my privilege, and I am very grateful.

This week, I’ve put the camera away. The fire that rages near our home is producing some incredible sights. Orange skies, shooting flames, smokey and eerie views of the forest can be seen from different points around town. Out my office window, I see smoke, and coloured sky and normally, I would grab the camera and click away with these nature shots.

But, I don’t like to look. It is bad enough when we go looking for updates on the internet highway, that I see a photo with the caption – Sechelt is Burning!

Sechelt is not burning. The forest around Sechelt is. There are over 800 fires in BC as of today and the resources are really stretched. That was never something I thought about, when we chose to move here. I just assumed we’d have fire and police protection.

We are not forgotten, and we are protected, but we are not a priority right now. In a weird way, it is both scary and comforting. It means that while the forest burns, people are not in danger… yet.

I know that no matter what happens, Ken and I and Peet will be okay. I also know we will look back on this and say… that sucked. I also know I won’t have any photos of this to remind us.

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