Fire, Race & Still Hope

After watching such terrifying images of the destruction caused by the fires on the west coast of the USA, I tried to put myself in the place of the victims and simply start shaking at the thought. It saddened me so much to hear about the number of deaths including a young child. I believe that climate change is the ultimate culprit for these calamities.

I wonder if we will be able to reverse the damage so far. Three states are suffering from the fires and who knows how many people will end up with serious respiratory illnesses in the weeks to come. Louisiana is soon facing yet another possible hurricane. Puerto Rico has to deal with the sand storms that come from the Sahara. You have to see it to believe that so much soot can accumulate within just a few days. The island has also experienced several earthquakes as have so many other places.

We can only hope that science will figure out what needs to be done. We know what we can do to help the situation. During the pandemic shut down, many cities were observing how the environment seemed cleaner. Obviously, there were less cars on the roads and therefore less pollution. It simply makes sense the more we work together the better the results. Sometimes it takes something like a pandemic to help us see reality.

Racial tensions augmented during these last few months. All races came together to stand up for racial justice. I recently reread a copy of James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time. I had underlined these quotes so many years ago when I first read his work and which still resonates today.

“Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death–ought to decide, indeed, to earn one’s death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life. One is responsible for life: It is the small beacon in that terrifying darkness from which we come and to which we shall return.”

“And if the word integration means anything, this is what it means: that we, with love, shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it.”

                                          ― James Baldwin

Life only happens once. And for those who believe we reincarnate it still happens one life at a time and within a specific time. I hope and believe that we can make life better for each other when we decide to accept that each of us is deserving of a good life, a healthy existence, a peaceful coexistence. I still hope that we awaken to the essence of our oneness. Are you ready?

Image by Melba Christie (c) 2020

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