This has been a depressing summer for the residents of the Coachella Valley. We are now experiencing our third fire outbreak this month; this one still raging is just east of Banning, and northwest of Palm Springs.
There are currently a thousand firefighters battling a blaze that has consumed over 6,000 acres and 15 structures, many of them homes. Fifteen thousand people have been evacuated from their homes. As the flames roil along the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountain, soot is polluting the air and ash is falling all along the Coachella Valley.
I’m so damned heartbroken for these people who have lost everything, that I can’t work, can’t eat, can’t think. My Buddhist training tells me not to judge, that life is an ongoing cycle of highs and lows, but my spirit can’t seem to lift itself off the floor. I thought I was stronger than this, but apparently not. I’m not sure who to call to find out how I can help them, but I intend to find out.
We have a strong community here in the desert, and hopefully we will all come together to help.