The wind carries the spring
along the roadside
down, over, and through the hills.
Winter’s rain did come; too late to help.
Lush green grasses, bright mustard flower
carpet the valley,
overcoming the thistles of blackened trees.
The hillsides freckled, still carry October’s scars.
Around the bend, the colors recede
to fences no more,
but piles of rubble; vacancy.
People once lived here, in this most beautiful place.
I wrote this a few months ago, just before summer started, while driving from Santa Rosa to Napa along Highway 12. The ruins in Santa Rosa and Glen Ellen provided stark contrast against the explosion of colors typical of a Sonoma county spring.
Once again large wildfires blaze across Northern California, less than fifty miles to the north in Mendocino county, at times with epic plumes of smoke visible from my neighborhood in Santa Rosa.
We are all painfully aware of fire season.