Embers glowing for a year. My thoughts today go out to all our neighbors who suffered from the Wildfire. I lost a house full of memories. It was the place where my dear Anne died. I had moved to Petaluma so bore less loss than so many others. A key thing for which I am grateful is that I did not lose my art; I know several accomplished artists who lost their body of work. They are on my mind today.
I remain on the Hidden Valley list serve. All the stages of grief and tedium can be found in the e-mails shared, 1,208 or 3.3 e-mails per day. A review shows the path of grief, recovery, and determination of my neighbors.
I have deep appreciation for all our political leaders whom I watched in the midst of the Wildfire. For a year they have dedicated themselves to large and small efforts to serve the people of our community. They deserve our appreciation. I want to say they worked tirelessly, but I know they worked whether they were tired or not. Thank you.
Although I am appreciative of the first responders who did their jobs, I miss the appreciation that should be given to the second responders. There are a great number of County employees, City employees, and people who work for other jurisdictions who worked for the entire fire, and now the entire year, serving with dedication and effectiveness. I know hundreds of people who work in services through our non profits and I recognize many business people who have stepped up to help. Our shared recovery and individual well-being were greatly enhanced by the millions of dollars in generous contributions. Our society has a culture of heroes which should include each of us who assured that love was thicker than smoke.
I mourn for those who died. This was one of life’s great tragedies which will carry down through generations among their families and friends. I was at the emergency operations center and took some of the calls where the deaths were reported. These neighbors and friends bore the greatest cost of this tragedy.
Although the embers are now ash, it is right to call to mind the goodness of our people who responded when we were all in need.
Poetry from the fire