As more wildfires rage in Northern California, Marilyn Englander sees the energy of resilient people in already devastated communities.
My husband and I drove to wine country before Fourth of July for a getaway to leafy back roads, golden countryside.
As we headed inland from the misty, dreamy Sonoma coast, the radio updated us on the Pawnee and County Fires, relentlessly scorching Yolo and Lake Counties. A gloom of smoke hung over the eastern hills but under sunny skies near Santa Rosa we passed fences draped with festive bunting and signs announcing small town picnics.
We climbed Mark West Springs Road. Lines of cement trucks, construction pickups and dump trucks hauling rock were grinding along the twisty road. To every side dozers growled over burnt hillsides, leveling, back-filling. I glanced up forlorn driveways that led to small forests of pink and yellow construction flags fluttering in the wind, a bustle of rebuilding where only nine months ago wildfire roared through. Such optimism and industry in the aftermath of desolation.
We are irrepressible. Like someone working through a third divorce yet planning a new wedding, we believe in getting it right --- this time. Brave souls in Napa and Sonoma toil and sweat to raise new houses on the blackened ghost lots where the Tubbs Fire raged.