Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fall in Southern California

Well, fall has officially arrived! And that means the scorching dry, hot winds that bring with them the firestorms that we have become increasingly used to. I have always said to my relatives, friends and associates who live in hurricane prone areas, or cold climes that yes, we do have earthquakes here, but at least there is no earthquake season!

But fire season is now as predictable as any other season. And with it comes the horrible losses of homes and the personal histories that are wrapped inside them. We hear all too often the words, "well at least we are safe, that it's only things." But we should not diminish these losses of "things" as insignificant. Yes, our homes are filed with replaceable things, TVs, furniture and clothing, just to mention a few. But we also hold on to things that matter. Our child's first drawings, baby shoes and although most photos are being held hostage on a hard drive that we can grab on the way out the door as we grab the family pet, many years of photos from generations that have passed turn to ash, and with them, the images that tie our families together through history.

On TV the images of firefighters and helicopters attempting to quell the wall of fire at times can seem enthralling to us who sit in our homes safe from the flames. But once we stop and think of how we would cope with losses like this, the reality is stunning. My thoughts are with all who were affected by last weekends fires, as well as with those men and women that risk their very lives to protect not only our future, but our past as well.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

" Dad, he did it! We did it!"

It is strange to sit and write once again in my blog that I know that maybe fewer than 10 people actually look at, but write I must. Because all that I have noted on these pages over the past year concerning the state of our country and this election was a way for me to put down just how important it was for things to change.

And last night, change it did. My eyes filled with tears, not when results were first announced, but when my daughter called from college with excitement in her voice, "Dad, he did it. We did it! I can't believe it!"

And I told her that the victory was hers. That the energy and hard work of her generation made this possible. That the problems that we have here at home and abroad, and the mess of the environment that we have made must now be attended to. There certainly has been a sea change with this election. And I see that change not just as an incredible lifting of the hatred and fear of racism in this country, but one of the hope for a future for this country and the world. A world that moves forward to offer opportunity for all in it. A world that can deal with the problems and challenges that will occur with strength of vision towards inclusion.

This one man cannot be expected to solve all our ills. But he offers a change from the cynicism that has infected our country for far too long. The problems are many, but with an energized electorate with eyes wide open and a President who understands what this country was built on maybe now we can see ourselves in the reflection of the eyes of the world, and like what we see.