|View of the smoke from the local grocery store parking lot, just an hour after the fire began.|
I live in Santa Cruz, California. A beach town. A town full of people like myself, who love to bike and hike in the mountains. Who cherish the wildlife, the redwood forests and the high, dry, brush-covered mountaintops. It's hard to think of so much that is precious being destroyed.
The first night, the fire looked like an erupting volcano. Here is a photo from a local blog, Santa Cruz Waves, of the fire burning behind the historic wooden rollercoaster at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The photo makes the fire look really close to town. Don't worry, it's really not that close at all!
|Photo by @xbirdo|
While the smoke and the fiery glow are both very dramatic, the main reason I keep thinking about the fire is because there are over a thousand men and women up there right now, trying to fight it. And I, snuggled safely in front of my computer, can't imagine the kind of courage and strength it takes to do that. To go to work knowing you might inhale toxic smoke? To go to work and face down flames rising taller than most of the buildings in my town? To go to work knowing you might be burned or killed on the job?
So I am thinking about the fire and I am thinking about heroes. How many heroes are out there, and how little we know about them.
So much of what is reported in the news is disheartening. We hear about crimes and war and politicians. We hear about all the bad that people, unfortunately, do. And we don't hear enough about the women and men who are making a difference in the world. Who are rushing toward the flames while the rest of us look on in wonder. Who are walking into classrooms, hospitals, non-profits, or neighborhood businesses and working as hard as they can to change people's lives.
That is why we started Real Life Hero Monday on the Superromance Facebook page. Each week we post at least one article about a person who is making a difference. Who is doing something positive. Who is trying to better their world. As authors, we love our fictional heroes. But why not look for inspiration among these real life heroes who move so quietly among us?
Please stop by the page on Mondays and join us in celebrating the people who are 'running toward the flames.' The regular folks who are turning toward the problems they see in the world and trying to solve them.
And meanwhile, please say a prayer or send good thoughts to the thousand plus firefighters up in the Santa Cruz mountains. Their hard work is paying off. The local paper announced this morning that they may have the fire contained by Monday. Everyday heroes, saving the day, one more time!
P.S. Here is a link to more photos of the Loma Fire.