There is a kind of mysterious fun to not be up on current events whilst being in the midst of them. I imagine that many people go through life not really aware of the events around them, and yesterday, I was one of those people. Towards the afternoon, the distinct odor of burning wood wafted into the building where I was working. It was strong enough to warrant a check on my part around the grounds of the building, but ubiquitous enough not to give me an idea on the general direction of the source. So after a few minutes, I determined that wherever and whatever the source of the burning was, it didn’t put anything in my vicinity in danger.
I left work at about 8:30 in the evening. I’ve been quite tired, because, as previously noted in this blog, I’m totally off in my sleeping patterns, so the hazy, blurry red moon I attributed to my tired eyes, rather than a natural phenomenon. The thick layer of particulates on my car, I attributed to pollen that must be coming from the blossoming tree that I parked under. It was so thick that I couldn’t see out my windshield without washing it first.
Yeah, sometimes I’m not too quick.
Finally, I was driving home and a major road way was blocked off. Still nothing is coming together in my head, and I curse my bad luck as I make an alternate route to Erick and Michele’s house. When I get there, I ask them to turn on the local traffic station to see what the trouble was on the parkway. Turns out that brush fires were so bad in the area that there was no visibility on the Sunken Meadow, and it had been closed for much of the day. Brush fires?
Hmm…, I thought to myself, that would explain the lingering smell, the red sky, and the thick layer of non-pollinated soot on my car. Combine that with all the snippets of stories I’ve heard about the brush fires we’ve had on the island, because of the dry conditions and sudden heat wave, and my steel-trap mind puts it all together.
Still and all, while always being in areas that would suffer from the occasional major fire, I’ve never actually been within five miles of a hot zone. These were always things that happened on the East End, while living on the island, or things that happened on the West Coast, when living in Florida. My prejudice was in assuming that it the brush fires must have been further away, surely not in my suburbia. It did make for a eerily beautiful sky, and despite it’s power to obfuscate, it helped clear my mind.