Like most of the world, I've been transfixed, as well as horrified, by the events caused by the multiple wildfires that are still raging in Southern California.
Thousands of acres destroyed, homes and businesses gone, people displaced and left homeless.
Thankfully, this time around, the Federal government seems to have gotten it's head out of it's ass and is already providing aide to the area; moving much quicker than it did during the Katrina catastrophe that hit New Orleans two years ago.
Many years ago, I had the chance to visit Del Mar California (just outside of San Diego) and found it to have some of the most beautiful coastline I'd ever seen, as well as some magnificent mountain views.
The other morning, while listening to NPR, they relayed the story of a divorced man and his daughter from Del Mar who had managed to leave their apartment with just the clothes on their back and their pet dog. They interviewed the man who had just discovered that his entire apartment complex had burnt to the ground, and the guy was saying that he was just happy that he and his daughter and their pet had escaped with their lives - but he added that he had so many irreplaceable things back home that he'd never see again ... for some reason this man's story really struck a chord with me. I imagined what it would be like to be in his circumstances, if through an unlucky draw of the cards, everything in your life is suddenly reduced to ash. Of course, he was very lucky that he and his daughter made it out alive - but still, it must be a mind numbing shock to the system to come up empty like that.
In any case, this morning I made a small contribution to the American Red Cross. It felt like the least that I could do.