Today is the second day that I have been able to see the blue of the sky after more than a week of smoke filling the air due to wildfires raging across the West Coast. Yesterday, as I stepped outside and looked up to see the blue sky again, my eyes filled with tears of gratitude.
Throughout the worst of this smoke, I put on a mask, sunglasses and a cap to go outside and water the plants. It was necessary to spray them off regularly and make sure they had sufficient water to allow them to breathe and keep from burning.
Some plants are more sensitive than others and it was interesting to see who was suffering more and who was able to withstand the onslaught with grace. The towering trees around the property, our sentinels of oak, redwood, maple and pine were clearly deeply affected.
As they stood watch over us, it was apparent that they were working hard to clear the air that surrounded them. Withering, discolored leaves were visible and a feeling of heaviness emanated from the trees as they provided us the service of their lives. Never have I been so aware of how important trees are to the health of our environment than as a result of this profound first-hand experience.
Closer to the ground, the plants I watered were able to mostly maintain their greenery. The scented geraniums and lavenders were particularly hearty – perhaps their oils helped to protect them from the smoke.
Today, the birds are singing again. I see them flitting around on the sunflowers, taking sips of nectar from the flowering Hyssops and California Fuchsia (Zauschneria)and an occasional sound of a hawk calling out as it flier above. Evidence of healthy life is returning to our little place in the world. One of the Reiki Precepts that feels so relevant today is “Show Gratitude to Every Living Thing.”
I can’t help but think of those not far from us who lost their homes and properties. Whose lives have been turned upside down. And, yet, I know that life will prevail. The rains will come, the quiet of winter will give us time to retreat and lick our wounds. The spring will return with hope and joyful tidings!