Yes, hope remains. Despite fires and smoke, extremely hazardous air quality, several days of evacuation orders: hope remains.
All the above add stress to the already stressful pandemic. Yet, hope remains.
One bit of good news, the Portland protests and riots took a break during the smoke and poor air quality. One less level of stress. Hope remains.
As we sat in our home, we talked a lot about preparedness when threatened by a natural disaster. What one thing would you take? It’s hard to say. You might not have time to remember what that thing is and then pick it up and go. But we did start a list of what we’d need to take with us.
This is a new experience for us. The danger zones were a new experience for our firefighters, other responders, and those tracking the wildfires. These fires met up with a Santa Ana-type windstorm. The winds licked up the flames and moved more quickly than anyone expected.
Our county’s placement under a smoke advisory advised residents to stay inside with windows and doors closed tightly. Already tired of the pandemic quarantine, the idea of being closed within our home because of smoke was somewhat worse. Nothing could be seen before, behind, or beside us. It felt like living in a cocoon that wasn’t opening. Hope remained, and the rains came. And the smoke slowly left our valley.
While we talked and listened for alerts, I remembered a time we visited a forest in eastern Oregon only days after a raging wildfire had gone through it. Bob’s brother and his wife lived in Burns at the time and shortly after that fire we visited them for a weekend. They suggested we take a walk through the forest to see the fire’s devastation.
Green shoots breaking through charred debris surprised me. Tiny pine and fir trees were beginning life again in their home high atop a hill in this forest. Blackened and charred trees and ash were all around us. Tall trees remained but showed the effects of the heat and fire that had lapped at their trunks days before. At that moment, hope was also growing and shining brightly.
The memory of that trip and the walk into the burned forest created a spark of hope welling up within my heart. Not just for the renewal of the forests, but for the possibility of renewal in other ways:
- bringing the raging wildfires under control and protecting those in harm’s way;
- recovery for the people who lost everything;
- in our relationships with our brothers and sisters of all colors and ethnicities, all religions, and all lifestyle choices;
- the discovery of a COVID vaccine and healing for those suffering from the virus; and
- peace in our world.
Now that I see that spark of hope, what am I doing with it? Sharing it with you and others!
What will you do with it? How can we all become united in spreading this hope?
We can think about these questions and write out our feelings about hope in a journal, a post, an essay, a poem, a song, and share it with others in the hope that they will catch the spark of hope and spread it, too!
Featured Image Attribution: WhiskerFlowers from Pixabay
Oh, Sherrey, where would we be without hope? I enjoyed this post and take to heart the reminder to continue to hold on to hope. Some days it’s hard, but hope remains. Always.
Linda, your question of where would we be without hope echoes words my mother said again and again. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and if we join together in holding onto hope, it will definitely grow and remain. Blessings and peace to you, Sherrey
Hope… grateful and sharing! Thanks you, Sherrey.
So grateful for your presence here and elsewhere online, Bette! Also appreciate your gift of sharing.
What a message of hope, what we must hold onto in spite of outward appearances or how we feel inside.
I refer to these verses in Lamentations often and think of another verse that brings me comfort when hurricanes loom in our area:
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. ~ Isaiah 43:2
The scripture mentions both fire and water, which you and I can relate to, but it also uses the word “through” at least three times. I think we can get through things before they actually end with a hopeful mindset. Great post, Sherrey!
Marian, your words woven into comments gave me goosebumps as I read them. This was a post I struggled with during its drafting and finishing. To know it has had the impact you mention is gratifying multiple times over! I am blessed by your friendship and your writing. Hugs, Sherrey
Thank you Sherrey, just what the doctor ordered. In all the disasters that are happening, I read your post and I feel a tiny upsurge of hope. I agree, when one sees how Nature can repair herself, there is hope. I am hopeful that there will be a renewal in all areas of our lives, now and in the future. I wish for regeneration of all the forests. A renewed spirit amongst all .. all those points that you noted.
Susan, so glad I could provide “just what the doctor ordered.” Even the slightest bit of hope helps to soothe our irritations at what is coming at us. I too am hopeful that after all this is over there will be changes in our society, relationships, policies and more for now and tomorrow. Thanks so much for stopping by and reading.
Hi Sherrey. I’ve seen so much on the news and I know how much Oregon has been through. Stay strong, and most of all stay hopeful. Hugs x
Thank you, Debby, for your gracious and supportive words. We are marching to a hopeful drumbeat here in Oregon!
Yes, keep up the hope. So many prayers for Oregon <3
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