Things We Take For Granted

Today’s blue sky is special because we’ve seen it after 24 days.

We take many things for granted but today I am talking about blue skies and healthy air. Air that has been crying for attention for many years all around the globe. We battle with smoky air every year.

California wildfires rage every year but they started too early this time.

They were trigged by the lightning that danced across the skies on August 16 in the wee hours of the morning. It chose to touch the earth 10849 times! It crashed on my slumber too. I tried to go back to sleep but was impelled by the continuous thunderous strikes to get up and see. Dawn was breaking when I stepped out on my patio to watch this rare spectacle.

Dawn after lightning

A beautiful dawn
Wore a mask of devastation
Who could discern?

My grandchildren rang up early to share their interesting stories about being scared by the sound and then walked down the stairs to watch the sky from their living room. My imaginative grand daughter added much spice by linking them to Star Wars as my grandson nodded with delight.

The aftermath was horrendous with 367 fires, which have been blazing in the bay area and disseminating smoke all around us. Did we ever dream of being cooped up inside our homes, with windows closed due to unhealthy air?

As if Covid-19 was not enough! Plumes of smoke and ash in the skies polluted air quality miles away from actual fires. The blanket of smoke sat around us for almost a month. “We’re very worried about that combination this fire season, about wildfire smoke exposures and a raging pandemic,” said John R. Balmes, a medical professor at the University of California at San Francisco.

Pictures speak louder than words!

Today my heart goes out to those
Who look up, beady-eyed, at the skyline
Ferociously licking the infernos
Which were once their homes
Ensconcing all their dreams.

Please click to read the full poem

Thank you for reading. This is a short respite as many fires are still uncontrollable while the authorities are wondering whether climate change has any role to play!

But the blue sky looks promising today.

Balroop Singh.

35 thoughts on “Things We Take For Granted

  1. This post so vividly shows the difference between blue skies and the smoke-filled disaster. We too are suffering with hazardous air. Your poem is riveting, Balroop. So dire. I too think daily of those who are fleeing their homes and losing everything. 😦

  2. What a beautiful sight, blue skies. Its tried to peek through here but not for long. I loved your insight through poetry and the post to this long moment since the lightening storms. Hoping for some relief to our coast soon. Hugs.

  3. It is absolutely devastating to see the red and orange skies in California. I have been wondering what is common between the fires in your home state and Australia, Brazil, and Greece within the last few months. I have no answers. To see forests burning is painful. These fires have not only caused damage to people but also to flora, fauna, and climate. I’m sorry to hear that you all had to stay indoors for a long time. The last couple of months have been difficult. It is good to see a clear blue sky in the end.

    1. Nobody is ready to discuss the reasons arv! Here it happens every year and this is just the beginning… fire season continues till the end of November. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. All the years I lived in the Bay area, I was proud of, and delighted in, the fresh air that blew through the GG Bridge. My friends and family still there have been ensconced in their homes, windows closed, kids “climbing the walls” (hopefully just metaphorically) wanting to stand out on their lawns and decks to just BREATH fresh air. I’m so glad you have a respite now, although I know it may be short-lived. Be careful, Balroop. These are unprecedented, scary times and a harbinger of our future if we don’t take better care of our Mother Earth. ❤

    1. Bay Area is a beautiful place, with open skies, lovely redwoods and calm ocean but wildfires have been devastating for those who live closer to forests. It has been getting worse every year. We are keeping our fingers crossed till Thanksgiving.❤️

  5. I too reveled in the beautiful blue skies down her in Southern California–and no air warning! And I cursed under my breath at the government officials who put us in this predicament! Sigh.

  6. The fires have been devastating. As someone who loves on the east coast, I am removed from them, yet the news reports and photos are devastating to see. I am so glad you can see blue skies, and I pray for many more.

  7. These times are unprecedented, Balroop, and your post says it so well. I believe there were over 600 fires in all since that August night of dry lightning. It’s horrific, and although I’m grateful to see a beautiful sunrise into clear blue, my heart aches for those who have lost so much. The images on the news are beyond heartbreaking. I pray that no new fires start as we still have another month of this new season. Stay safe, my friend. 💗

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