fledge capable of flying, from Middle English flegge, from Old English -flycge; akin to Old High German flucki capable of flying,
Old English flEogan to fly -- more at FLY
intransitive verb, of a young bird : to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Color of Fire

I want to thank the many people who emailed me to show concern about the wildfires possibly effecting us. Our house and family are some distance from the wildfires, which are raging south of here in Orange County and San Diego and north of here in Malibu. We are just fine, not really near any of the blazes. I was a little nonchalant about the fires when they first broke. Southern California gets wildfires. The Gulf Coast gets hurricanes. The Midwest gets tornadoes. The Northeast gets blizzards. Every part of this nation has it's own of Mother Nature's tantrums to tame. And Southern California gets wildfires. Trimming back hillside brush beats shoveling snow any day.

But then the numbers of evacuees quickly rose from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands. A customer of mine in Portola Hills watched flames soar 100 feet in the air behind her house while she was stomping burning embers on her back porch. This is a disaster unfolding.

Of this disaster that which I catch glimpse is a fine powdery layer of ash covering everything. The sky is hazy with particulates. Only the longest light waves, red, orange and yellow, are having much success piercing through this layer of ash, making the noonday light golden. I remember looking through the yellow celophane of Easter wrappings. It reminds me of that. Everything has the color of fading color photographs. Shadows look blue. The sunset is a stubborn bright pink, which doesn't manage to create a reflection on the ocean surface. It looks like a round burn mark, which takes away the top layer of skin. My world looks like Guillermo del Torro has walked in and said, "Yellow. I want everything to have a pale golden cast." The ocean water is blue and yellow at the same time, like iridescent silk taffeta. It is disconcerting. And beautiful.

Stay safe.

Für die vielen Emails, die nach unserem Wohlergehen fragten, möchte ich mich bedanken. Unser Haus und unsere Familie sind ziemlich gut entfernt von den Wildbrändte. Uns geht's gut.


Christine said...

Thanks for the coverage !! I´m so glad to hear you are okay, I was really worried !!! I even looked up the Los Angeles County Fire Departement home page, but they show, as you said, that the fire is nowhere near you, thank goodness !!

XOXO, Chris

andrea said...

Gott sei Dank geht es Euch gut!!!
Und wenn ich die Bilder sehe bekomme ich Heimweh!!

Notiz Blog said...

Ohja leider kenne ich diesen Himmel nur zu gut. Ich lebte 1993 in Malibu als mehrere 100 Häuser verbrannten. Es ist einfach nur schrecklich und sehr beängstigend wenn man sieht wie schnell ein Feuer sich bewegt. Zum Glück bist du weit genug davon entfernt. Ich hoffe das meine Bekannten in Malibu verschont bleiben und das die Stanta Ana Winde aufhören.
Liebe Grüße

Clara said...

"...I remember looking through the yellow cellophane of Easter wrappings."

Wow...what a visual!

I am happy to hear that you are safe!


Kristen said...

you have written such a beautiful observation of such a terrible disster..you have a gift for words that I truly envy...

Nic said...

so glad to hear that you and your family are safe.

take care!

stinkypeteandcompany said...

In every moment, I guess, there is beauty; our job is, perhaps, to see it. Thank you Nancy, for seeing the glory in ashes, and for sharing it here, with us.
I am, as I am so often, awed by your words,


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