Austin, United States

I have spent most of my career as a French professor and a research librarian, and have been reinventing myself as a writer. I’m...

Austin SMOKES Today!

Hard to believe what is happening NOW! You know, we’ve been hearing about all the wildfires in the West. I guess we hardly imagined it would be here, but lo ahd behold! Bastrop County now has a wildfire! We heard about it yesterday. Then it was not expected to get large. But this morning, on my way to a shopping area, we drove into what seemed at first to be a huge area of fog. But this was not possible, since we’ve had no rain and we have no moisture. Then we smelled the smoke. We were getting the smoke from the Bastrop fires. Tonight it sounds as though most of the fires are around the Smithville area. That’s about an hour’s drive away.

So the further we drove, the more smoke we encountered. It was acrid and strong. Tonight’s news filmed the downtown smoke, and it appeared to be a thick fog. Austin does not usually see this. And worse, tonight, it’s obvious the fire has spread and is only 10% contained, covering about 2,000 acres. Very sad. Tomorrow there will be wind, which makes everything worse.

So I’m asking everybody to do a rain dance. You can do an Indian dance and I think you say something like HEY-aye, Hey! Hey! Oh, all right. I don’t speak Tewa or any other American Indian language. (But I CAN say WAKANTANKA, which is MAYBE correct, and which I think means GREAT SPIRIT, the expression many American tribes use to refer to God.) But King David danced for the Lord, and so can we, and we can put our own prayers to the dance. I just like the American Indian dance styles. It’s so beautiful to see them in full regalia all dancing with a prayerful spirit.

Now here it is, October, and today we had a high temperature of 95 or 97 degrees. Plus we had dangerous air quality today. Tomorrow it is supposed to improve. Remains to be seen. The firefighters look tired and probably discouraged. When I heard about the fire, I felt so sad, I almost cried. Bastrop County had a really terrible fire a few years ago. Oh well, this too shall pass.

Our hope is for RAIN to put out the fire, and dear Lord, please make it a downpour RIGHT OVER THE BLAZE! Next, we could use a REAL FALL kind of WEATHER! People, please put these things on your prayer lists! If we infuse all that smoke with our prayers, I guess we’ll have HOLY SMOKE!

When is this awful heat going to exit? I wonder if I went to Alaska if they’d have a heat wave? Ya think? I think I won’t go. Just in case.

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