December is here. Santa Barbara has been an interesting place to be this year with a theme of ash falling. The Zaca fire that burned to the north of us for the summer months put a lot of powdery white ash over the countryside. It was everywhere, in the trees, on the ground, on every building. Every time the wind blew you would get what looked like a little snow flurry.
Fire was flying from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, after following 100 miles of smoke blowing across California. Just when we thought we were finished with it, we had this recent round of fires and the Santa Anna winds, which then blew in old ash that was more like charcoal. It is amazing to think of how much of our countryside burned. Trying to imagine 100,000 acres is a big chore. Now take that up 3 or 4 times to begin to get a scope on the magnitude of the burn site. Now, for us, it is just the ash. For those farther to the south of us, it is the reality of the fire and the associated devastation. There is the reality of evacuation. I have had my own experience of evacuations due to hurricanes when I lived on the Gulf Coast.
I know the experience of picking your way through a damaged neighborhood to see what is left of your home. When my wife was a child, they lost their home in Malaysia to floods. In each of our ways, we can relate to the experience that occurred in Southern California.
Over 1,000,000 people out of their homes. We continue to hear of these massive and broad-reaching events, whether it is drought in the East, hurricanes on the Gulf Coast, fires in California, or war in the Middle East, most of us only hear and watch with a morbid fascination. What would happen if we actually stepped into the emotional reality of these events, and allowed them to guide our intuition into some sort of positive action? What would happen if we truly tried to feel what is going on in our world? This call for empathy is the subject of this newsletter. Our world is changing and we need global action, we need global leaders. So, take a few minutes, take some notes, and change your life.