February 27, 2021
There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen.
~Raymond Chandler, The Red Wind
You can’t really imagine unless you’ve been in it.
This must be true of any disaster or extraordinary situation in which humans find themselves. Volcanic eruptions. Fire on the mountain. Hail as big as baseballs.
Unimaginable levels of snowfall and freezing weather across a southern state of the U.S., accompanied by purportedly unpreventable, longterm power outages.
When put to a candle flame, the snow turns black and doesn’t melt. Or so they say. And so the videos show…
I woke up this morning to the sound of the wind.
I hate wind. I’ll just come right out and say it.
It used to be a neutral subject. Wind, no wind, doesn’t matter. That was before all the fires started plaguing California, bewildering in their ferocity, their unprecedented wind-driven speed of spread.
Somewhere around the year 2000 everything really started going to hell, weatherwise, in California.
Climate change, say some. Global warming.
The wicked work of wicked people, say I.
Since I don’t pay a great deal of attention to mainstream news — okay, I pay no attention to mainstream news — the only time I hear what passes for reality in that realm is when there’s a disaster near my home. This will typically be yet another wildfire. Then I have to pay attention for the sake of safety.
If I didn’t have a different view of the world than that promoted by, let’s call them the global controllers, I would be persuaded by news coverage that “global warming” has caused the drying of the earth. A decade or more of drought makes ideal fire weather. Tinder dry, beetle infested forests create unheard of amounts of available fuel.
If I followed only mainstream news, I would have believed that the massive swarm of lightning strikes last August in California was a naturally occurring result of the old multipurpose explanation of global warming. Certainly it couldn’t be what many folks believe really happened, which is more in the category of weather warfare.
Last August, when these “unprecedented“ lightning strikes happened, the hot wind was already blowing. It was noon and the landscapers had arrived to break ground for the renovated yard we were finally going to invest in after everything died from the drought.
“Mira, lluvia,“ said one of the workers.
“Are you kidding me? Rain?“
They leaned on their shovels and we all stared at the sky. The sun beat down between the massive heaps of magnificent black thunderheads. Fat drops of rain splattered against the dry earth, rain we hadn’t seen in Santa Barbara since the January before.
I thought at the time, but didn’t say – my Spanish is rusty – if there’s thunderheads, there’s thunder. If there’s thunder, there’s lightning.
I wondered where the lightning would land.
Some 300 miles north of us, and all the way up the California coast as well as inland, tens of thousands of lightning strikes hit in the span of just a few hours.
And then came the fires.
And pushing the fires, the wind.
The wickedness spread north, Oregon, Washington. I saw a video of someone sending up a heavy-duty drone equipped with camera and long-range fire starter, filming as the operator shot manic fire into the forests.
Was it reality? Was it CGI? I don’t know. I believe completely it’s possible, and I believe it’s been done. I just don’t know if that was a genuine video of an act of breathtakingly evil arson.
There’s absolutely no point in railing against nature. In bemoaning the thunder and the lightning and the crashing waves that erode the shore.
What I do object to, passionately, is the twisting of nature into a weapon that is used against humanity, against earth, against all beings of the earth.
The image of one of the orcs created by that mad wizard Saruman in The Lord of the Rings came to mind just then. And the look of love and wonder on the wizard’s face as he views the creature rising, rising from its cauldron of unspeakable glop. And on arising, killing the first minion it spots, strangling him with careless strength and casual glee.
Perhaps just so do certain beings view the cauldrons of fire, those sheets of flame that race across the frightened earth and devour all peace and joy and love in their path.
They try to kill the love, but love never wavers. And when the flames at last begin to be tamed by the exhausted but relentless firefighters, all of whom should be sainted, hope creeps back first timidly and then with stronger stride.
It’s an uphill battle for Hope. Oh, the horror. The irreparable damage. The deep and desperate grief from massive destruction and the deaths of so many people, so many animals. Thousands of buildings, many towns incinerated by superheated flames. Entire ancient forests wiped out.
Those are all there, inescapable and long lasting. The fear is re-triggered every year by more fires, more horror, more destruction.
More bloody damned wind.
There’s little reason to believe this year will be any different. Or is there?
Is it possible that last year was the last year of the winds? The last year of the mysterious, unprecedented “weather“ that launches such mass destruction?
Wait, now I remember. Of course it’s possible. Saruman was beaten in the end. Peaceful light shone in the Shire once more.
There was destruction and death and that couldn’t be undone.
But the new seeds could be planted. And they were.