This has been the worst year of my life. I’m certain I’m not the only one.

We began the year by losing both of our dogs, one to old age (15) and the other to cancer. Then came, of course, the pandemic, continuing racial injustice, incompetent leadership, creeping fascism, and seemingly no way out.

Oh, and climate change, of course.

Which is the context for the increasingly likely outcome that my home burns to the ground in a forest fire.

We left Tuesday night after an unprecedented (saying that a lot these days, aren’t we?) wind storm combined with record low humidity and months with no rain created explosive fire conditions.

orange sky with smoke in the distance of an outbuilding

I understand I’m privileged to own a home in the first place, and that my current situation is largely a condition of that privilege. But I suppose that’s the point.

Our negligence of each other, our systems of oppression and ignorance, our denial of climate change, all in pursuit of an unsustainable, illogical, and destructive economy, will and is catching up to all of us.

We can’t keep doing things the way we’ve been doing them. We must change.

Our house is still standing for now. But the flames are at the doorstep.