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Almeda Fire, Sept 8, 2020

An essay I wrote two weeks after the fire

Trying to process it all Two Weeks Later: I have been back to my neighborhood three times now. It is truly a miracle, a gift, that all of my neighbors made it out of the park alive. The monster that was coming was relentless, unstoppable, and horrific. We had no notice. We had one exit. Many of my neighbors were home without cars. It was only because of the love and thoughtfulness of many that everyone made it out. Community, love, caring. That was Pacific Village. We were family. We knew the vulnerable among us and took care of them. We took care of one another. And not just on September 8, but year round. I am so amazingly proud of my community. I am also deeply saddened that we are now all dispersed. Love is what matters. Community is what matters. Caring is what matters. All the rest of life's noise is just distraction. Cherish those around you and your community. Kindness. Thoughtfulness. Cheer. A pat on the back. A kind ear. An encouraging word. This builds community. The photo is of "The Buggy Brigade." Gracie, Sarah, Carter. They loved their buggy rides. Look at those grins. Yes, Rita, Mardi and I gave all of the neighbors something to smile at.


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