Monday, October 13, 2008

oak and ash to dust

My new dream home has a wood-burning stove and any time the temp has dropped below, oh, say, 70 degrees, I've suggested it may finally be time to light a fire, only to be roundly corrected for my zealotry by whoever is at hand at the moment. "Elizabeth, we're wearing shorts." "Elizabeth, you are sunburned from the day." "Elizabeth, your dog is panting in this heat." So fine. No fire. Yet.

However, last night, we sat watching a movie. The window was open. And I smelled a fire from someone else's house. Someone had lit a fire! I stood on the couch. (Okay, I didn't, but I like the story better that way.) And I shouted (said--actually, thought), "Well if someone else is doing it, this is justification by proximity. They're cold. I am too. Let's make like Al Green and light a fire!"

Met with roll of eyes and adjustment of movie volume (up, up, up).

Just as well that I did not get my fiery wish, as it turns out the air here has had to absorb more than its share of woodsmoke these last twelve hours. This was no rosy, cozy chimney smoke, but an entire body of land ablaze a few miles away. Poring over the photos of Angel Island's massive fire this morning, I cannot help but feel that, however destructive it is to this local uninhabited state park, the conflagration is beautiful.

You are wise to the world, though, and so this is no news to you, is it? Destruction is gorgeous. Behold, my doomed brethren, the glory of Megiddo.