"Brother Fire, you are the most useful of all creatures, be kind to me, for I have always been kind to you…I have always respected you for love of he that created both of us. Now be good to me too. Come, Brother Fire!"
I think that the residents and firefighters of Southern California might think differently; after hearing about the over 11 blazes that the winds have pulled out of the dry brush like a rabbit out of a hat, it seems that it would take a saint to say something like that.
Actually one did, directly before his martyrdom by fire.
Boyfriend and I spent the weekend at the beach. The winds started yelling, knocking doors and rattling windows late Saturday night. It was the worst of neighbors. In the morning, we looked at the swiftly changing beach. Across the upset shore it seemed as if an invisible hand was quickly moving, smoothing out one rumpled patch of sand, before moving onto another.
The waves were tall, with wind-blown veils of spray. The water was an opaque green-grey. Seagulls struggled in the air.
Then, stepping outside, you were able to smell it. Burning. Distant, choking smoke. Look away from the mysterouis sand, the bridal waves and look up. The sun was a small dot of red. As the color spread, it softened and lessened, blending into a sfumato of ash and cloud.
In the late afternoon this star, newly christened crimson, cast bands of red across the water, heralding the coming of dusk, which had seemingly lasted all day.
There was much destruction and loss and fear Sunday evening. I'm hoping that the flames will calm their lively embers, resist the urge to ride the warm current of the Santa Ana winds and recede into the charred earth.
I'm now asking Brother Fire to be good to us.