We step outside to an eerie warm glow and ash falling from the sky.
The ash travels over 30 miles from a burning forest to the streets in Portland.
That forest, the Columbia River Gorge.
The visiting ash and the sight of photos showing flames covering the mountains that we have come to know well, brings a deep sadness for a beautiful lush landscape currently in flames.
Fires are scarring many of our forests in the west and many of us are feeling the despair, gloom and frustration.
We are unsure how to handle it.
We notice that no one in our over-industrialized world taught us that we may need to mourn the loss of a forest.
And here we are, saying goodbye to a part of the earth where we have felt something profound.
It's where we watched a river flow thousands of feet below after we climbed a mountain’s steep face. Where we listened to silence when we didn’t know it was exactly what we needed. Where we were surrounded by trees so big that they made our daily stress seem insignificant.
While the forest burns, we realize that the land and the people are deeply connected. We are grieving in a way not so different than we do for the loss of a dear friend.
And there is peace in being aware of this connection to the earth. It’s almost as if we have come closer to figuring something out that we should have known all along. Something that society has been drowning out.
These fires are tragic and sad but let it lead to a greater appreciation for our wild spaces, our connections in this world, and the awareness of our place in it.-----------------
I invite you to write about your reactions to the fires, share a photo, a memory or how you are connected to the land. You can respond to the email below and we will share a collection of your stories.
You can submit your stories to Brett@territoryrun.co by Wednesday Sept.13th