As many of you know, we are experiencing a major devastating wildfire here in Santa Barbara, as well as other parts of California. It has displaced so many in our community – thousands have had to evacuate without knowing what will happen to their properties, and some have even lost their homes to the fire.
There is a deep unease, life is thrown into limbo, yet the very disruption is also engendering a deep connection among us – an understanding of what it means to be a community.
December here is usually a time of celebration, getting together with our loved ones and friends, delighting each other with gifts, and enjoying the season. But the fires here have changed that for us, as we move our families out of harm’s way, wear masks to protect ourselves from the smoke, and live on the edge, not knowing what the future will look like here. In our Waxing Poetic family, we have had several employees who were required to evacuate, including my family, and several more who may be evacuated over the next few days. We also have friends, customers and vendors who are at risk. We share our angst, fear and hope with each other and have come together to support the larger community.
Though so many things are unknown, what we do know is that we are being given yet another opportunity to choose love over fear. Love, and our connection to it in the most divine sense, and to each other, is the truth we all are moving towards. In being faced with losing our homes, the lives we have come to know, we are given the freedom to release ourselves from our past, from who we think we are, and instead, embrace the here and now, who we are, and who we might become. We are hopefully able to wake up so that we may not squander this precious life, but instead show each other that we matter, that all of this matters, all living things, as we all are so dependent on each other in order to live.
Thank you to our incredibly strong, caring and resilient community; to the firefighters, the heroes and heroines, all of us who are facing these disasters who continue to shine their light on the situation to help others. We pray for everyone’s safety. As the fires become more contained, will be working with local organizations to lend a hand, rebuild and rediscover this beloved spot on earth that we are so grateful to call home.