Wednesday, October 24, 2007

California Is Burning

As I write this the sun sets over the San Francisco Bay. Tangerine rays glint off the windows of houses with better views up the ridge, thereby sharing some of their wealth with my street further downhill. But as lovely as the scene is, something is wrong. When the breeze blows from the south it smells like a neighbor must be having a cozy night by the fireplace. But it's too warm for a log in the hearth tonight. What I'm smelling are the wildfires down in Los Angeles and San Diego.

My being able to smell anything that originates in Los Angeles, let alone San Diego, is just twelve kinds of wrong. Distance-wise, it is equivalent to someone in Toronto inhaling and saying, "Ah, they're burning the autumn leaves in the NYC burbs." Or someone in Lisbon, Portugal catching a whiff of tagine smoldering in Casablanca.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.


Lori said...

Wow. I can't believe you can smell the fires clear up in the Bay area. I can only imagine how unsettling that must be.

It is awful...

meg said...

I would most certainly be freaked if I could smell leaves burning all the way from New York.

What we're seeing on the news here, is too awful--but we are so far away, it's hard to really imagine. But actually smelling the wildfires, from where you are? It must make it super real.

niobe said...

It *is* wrong. And awfully scary.