Smoke Signals

"That's not clouds. It's smoke."

This haze blew in today after traveling around 800 miles. The smoke is a sky trail from the forest fires that are now burning in California. Somehow, the world feels closer-in when the breeze from a distant disaster blows through your front yard.
I remember back in 1980 when the ash from Mount Saint Helen's volcanic eruption blew across Chicago. I was walking to school and watched planes from O'Hare fly through the haze. The smell of airplane gasoline mixed with the fog of a crisis that had traveled around 1500 miles to cloud us in. It felt like a faraway volcano had sneezed danger right into our back yards.
There is something right about sharing a common fog when something bad happens. There's something communally good about searching the clouds only to be reminded that fellow humans are losing their homes ... or worse. It forces us to squint at the sun and remember why it's hard to see clearly.
Every human being shares the sky and tragedy. Both are common property to us all. So, I guess there's just something right about sharing the smoke.



Picture taken from my front porch around 3 pm today.
9.1.09

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