Smoke fills the air today as firefighters battle with a fire on the mountain side. At the moment they are concentrating on preventing the spread of the fire and letting the centre of it burn out— and that makes for billowing clouds of pale smoke that drifts and settles up and down the valley.
The roar of helicopter engines fills the air today as they dip down into lakes and then carry their cargo into the fog. I can’t help but feel this is putting out a bonfire with a teaspoon, but I trust they know what they are doing. The heat is scorching and the fire hops from perch to perch, jumping lines in its hunger for fuel.
Meanwhile we float on the lake, lazy spectators of a massive natural drama.
And I ponder today’s prompt, “never” by presenting a few of my favourite cartoons, which may or may not relate to the topic:
Since the smoke and smog from the surrounding forest fires has finally dissipated and the sky is visible and we can smell grass and trees again, it’s hard to concentrate on the indoors, and that includes writing!
There are storms clouds gathering as I write this and I am thrilled just to be able to see them. We need rain, too, lots of it, as there are still hundreds of fires still burning and we’ve had barely a lick of precipitation for two months.
I don’t know anyone who has experienced this past month who will ever take a smog-free environment and fresh clean air for granted again.
Today’s casual prompt actually suggested we write about the third line in the last song we heard, which for me was an advertising jingle encouraging people to buy lottery tickets. So I altered the prompt yet have written nothing about music— still, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, the first of which relates to the prompt, “song”?
I’ve been sick and tired (in the literal sense) for the past couple of weeks— a combination of exhaustion from a week-long family reunion and the dense smoke from the surrounding forest fires that sometimes rains ashes and charred pine needles upon us.
We who live in this paradise wonder if this is “the new normal”. Stinking hot summers, fires all around us, unbreathable air— and all because of this “hoax” called climate change? I have pressed my government reps for years about prioritizing global warming as a crisis that will affect generations to come, and in the worst possible way. Now my pristine lake country home has turned, very suddenly over a few years, from a utopia into a dystopia. Is this what our children and grandchildren have to look forward to?
Fortunately, we have cartoons to save us from despair. At least for today, for now, let’s enjoy a few giggles as I present a few of my favourite cartoons, the first of which corresponds to today’s casual prompt, “freaky”:
Until that moment, panic had turned me to ice. But the touch of his hand on my skin was the lick of a blowtorch and I felt its heat, suddenly, shockingly. Something stirred in a place I thought had died. I felt, as if for the first time, my own breathing, sharp and hot.
Smoke curled out of his nose and drifted towards the ceiling fan like the ghosts of small birds.
The fan spun slowly, each rotation clicking softly, the only sound in a deathly silence.
He inhaled again in the darkness, silhouetted against a grey window. He thought I was still dead as he leaned over me, pressing his lips against mine and forcing the ghostly birds into my mouth. When I felt his tongue scorch the back of my throat, I bit down, hard.
As his screams broke the silence, I floated to the window, spread my wings, and flew away.