Beautiful and Terrible

The smoke is so thick we can’t see the hills on the other side of the valley. After being outside for a while, my head aches and my eyes burn.

We take the dogs out for one last sniff around the backyard before bed and I am struck by the brilliance of the sun in the smoky western sky.

This morning, I wake later than usual and after putting coffee on go to the living room window to see how much smoke we’re under today. The camera on my phone can’t capture it, but the sun is brilliant red behind the smoke. I suppose that means it’s a clear and sunny day. I hope the smoke clears enough so we can see it.

It’s the beautiful and terrible that Buechner wrote about.

And, you know, it’s heavy, this burden of a bad fire season coming on the heels of what 2020 ushered in.

And I think I need to do less reading and watching and thinking and more putting into practice.

While praying for rain.

And those fighting these beasts.

And those who have already lost their homes—or their town—and those who are under evacuation alerts or orders and those who will be or already have been.

It’s only mid-July but I’m already kind of done with this summer.

I have to look harder for sparks of joy (Oh , wait. Best not to say spark.)

Today we’re going to the community garden early to harvest the garlic.

And a salad for supper.

I’m going to escape the smoke this afternoon by going for a float.

Gerry’s in charge of supper.

Just another day here in British Columbia where we’re on fire.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. Oh Linda, even writing ‘where we’re on fire’ is traumatic. Praying for you even as we speak …

  2. Remembering last summer as the fires grew too close to us. Your words bring back clear memories of smoke, red suns, blocked skies. Praying for you and those around you.

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