We live in California, on the western edge of the United States. The continent buckles and bulges where it meets the sea, and we have earthquakes that tend to remind us of that tendency. Things expand and contract on the edges.
The scenery is spectacular. I have traveled to Europe and when we reached the mediterranean regions in Italy or France, I often thought I was home again in California.
We live in the San Fernando Valley, and we must traverse the canyons, one way or another, to get to the sea. Today we made the journey to Malibu where the surf is often 'up' as they say. Today the ocean was calm, the waves gentle on the shore where we sat enjoying the view and the food.
On our way back home we saw something we often see here, too. A large plume of smoke indicated somewhere in the Santa Monica mountains there was a fire. These brush fires are common in the summer and fall, and always alarming because of the tragedies that may follow. Today it looked like whatever was happening was being contained, mostly, because the smoke was white which I am told indicates there was water dropped. But there was still a reddish brown undertone that meant it might not be fully controlled.
We are surrounded by the folds of these mountains and the beautiful foliage that covers them, especially this year due to lots of rain. Everything is lush. But recent heat is begining to dry out the brush. Rye grass is turning yellow, then brown. Danger is ahead. If the mesquite goes up it will be a hot fire, hard to control. Mesquite has an oil in it that means it burns hot, and long.
It's wonderful how we live with danger and beauty, somehow aware of both. Today was glorious. Lunch with good friends by the sea, a drive through the canyon back to our home, and a reminder that the world we have now is both beautiful and perilous, which sharpens our appreciation all the more.