This past week, I waited for life to get a little easier. Where there were ebbs and flows of optimism, a deep fear creeped in and deepened a mark across the calendar. My family and friends found themselves engulfed in a state on fire. Oregon's sky was as red as the scenes from Mount Doom in the land of Mordor.
Words will come later once everyone is safe. But the fear has sobering results. Many factors of the fire were out of our control, some were not. How we, as a people, respond will mark us as a generation to be remembered.
The time is here to reach across the Continental Divide. The time is now to find a way to speak hope into the charred landscape people call home. As we begin to get restless in our states of quarantine, our frustrations with schools, or our distaste of politics, remember we have family and friends who need us to show they are not forgotten.
My friend shared with me how her community each February raise money for the Doernbecker Children's Hospital. It's a town effort near Tillamook, Oregon. Together their small community raised $197,151 in ten days by hosting a variety of events like jello wrestling, donkey basketball, head polishing, swallowing goldfish, delicious dinners, auctions, car/truck washes, cinnamon roles, and many more. This small community refuses a simple handout. It's quality events only in exchange for some coin. They've been hosting this tradition since its founding in 1954. The total funds raised equals $3.5 million.
This community and others dotted across the states of Oregon and California need their American family. Be on the look out for ways to impact and make a difference. Find a way to insert yourself into the bigger picture and ease a tiny bit of the devastation beyond comprehension.
This fire cannot be bigger than us. We are a people richly steeped in the traditions of what it means to rise up and stand. Before the chill of winter sets in and while there's still small businesses first hit by Covid 19 and now this fire, let's reach out a hand. When we do, when we begin to make a difference, our reality will burn with a passion of what it means to be alive. What it means to truly matter. We will find that deeper burn from within that reminds us we are not alone!