It has been three weeks today since we evacuated our home, and one since we’ve returned. Though I so value and rely on the use of Story for meaning-making and healing, coherence continues to be elusive for me. Our evacuation was very urgent, very frightening, and a terrible shock to my nervous system which was so raw and newly-remade by the birth of my daughter four days prior, and everything since has existed underneath the thick haze of sleep deprivation and the demands of early parenthood. I’ve struggled to make sense of things. It’s all fleeting, all evolving, kaleidoscopic.
What I do know is that I continue to be overcome with gratitude and humility that life offered us the gift of homecoming. I’ve sifted through the ashes of so many cherished homes and sacred spaces in the last few years alongside beloved friends and family who - for no fucking reason at all - were not so lucky. Santa Rosa. Redding. Paradise. Now, Phoenix. So much ash. Piles of mangled metal. The silhouette of a chimney. Homemade signs paying tribute to first responders taped to stoplights and businesses. How familiar these images are to me now. How fortunate I am to close my door to them each night. How many thousands of people cannot do the same. How tiresome this is all becoming.
What I do not know is how to bear the pain and the panic of what is to come next. When I look into my daughter’s eyes, I feel sick with dread about the future of the world that I’ve brought her into. I’m rarely without hope and I’m not without it now, but lately it honestly just doesn’t feel like enough. Believing that it will all be okay doesn’t mean that it will be okay. There needs to be more. I worry that hope cannot survive the realities of the suffering of what is happening and what is to come, and I want something more urgent, something fiercer, something that can soldier on if suddenly hope is nowhere to be found. I don’t know what that is. Faith? Love? Rage? What. I don’t know. I know things have to change. We have to change.
In the meantime, I’m just so happy to be home.