This is not a happy post, filled with pretty photos. I'm just feeling thoughtful lately about others' losses and the human spirit. You probably all know that California is burning with major wildfires from north to south. Too many of them are created by humans. The Soberanes Fire in the Big Sur area was caused by a campfire deep in the forest. It could be ignorant hikers or could be another illegal marijuana farm. There have been other major fires that were caused by those tending such farms, often they are deep in the forests and "owned/managed" by the Cartel with "hired hands" camping and taking care of the crops. Other fires, including the devastating Lower Lake fire, were the result of arson. We have a more local Chimney Fire burning, the cause still being noted as "under investigation." What that says to me is they are not releasing the information because again, it is likely caused by someone doing something illegal. Homes and businesses, to say nothing of the lives, are lost. Total devastation to those in a fire's path. The photos and videos are shocking. Imagine such a fire destroying everything. In other places, floods and tornadoes do the same damage to people's homes and lives.
I don't know how the human spirit survives with all the loss we experience in our lives. I know some people persevere, continue to have hope and keep a positive outlook for the most part. Others simply collapse into sadness and depression and carry the burden for years. Why do some move forward and get on with life while others cannot seem to cope? Is it personality, is it a faith in something, is it family/friend support? I don't know.
This past week, my sister and I learned that a cousin's granddaughter had committed suicide. She was only 15 years old. Photos on Facebook show her smiling and looking like any other teen. Then one morning her mother found her. She had taken her life. Her best friend writes on her FB wall, trying to express her sadness and loss and grief. How did that young beautiful girl get to the point where she made that decision? And how does her family, and her best friend, go on to recover from such shock and sadness? I didn't know her and don't know her mother so I have no ideas as to what may have driven her to this point. It's just so very sad.
I've been through my share of loss in life. I'm sure everyone has, some more than others. I've survived it all and come through with a positive outlook on life, still intact. Here's what I think.
Some years back, Oprah had a frequent guest on her show named Gary Zukov who had written a book called "The Seat of the Soul." It made sense to me and I still think about his writing from time to time. Why do we think of people as being an old soul or a young soul? I have certainly known both. I am not a religious person but I do consider myself a spiritual person. I find my peace inside myself and with nature and with others who make me think or make me smile. The idea of souls being reborn and coming here to learn something makes sense to me. When you've lived 60 years, you can look back on people and experiences and gain some perspective on the human spirit. Stop and think, once in a while try to separate yourself from your emotional thoughts and look at life in a different way.
You can probably tell I've been spending a lot of idle time recently, indoors. The smoke from the fires has settled into our area and created poor air quality. Very poor air quality. I have asthma which I keep under control, but I cannot be outside breathing all the smoke and unhealthy particulates. And so I try to stay occupied, mostly failing at that, and keeping my mind busy with thoughts. That's what this post is about, trying to put those thoughts down on "paper" so I can be finished with them for now. With the smoke from the Big Sur fire easing up, I hope to get back to Cambria and this....very soon.
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