October was the photo-less month. I was looking forward to October, to take beautiful photos of the changing leaves, of all the beautiful colors that autumn has to offer.
I got those colors - in a very different way. Oranges and reds that were roaring and eating through our town's neighborhoods so relentlessly and furiously that they didn't leave anything but rubble and ashes. And smoke. A lot of smoke.
As well as a traumatized community.
A community that lost 5% of its residences, when we already had been in a housing crisis before the fire. Lost homes, lost businesses, lost jobs, and unfortunately also lost lives.
How does a community recover from that?
We're all pulling together right now. There is a lot of kindness among people, but also a lot of anger. But for all of us there is a feeling of "we're getting through this together". These words that I photographed on the door of my local bakery say it all. You find them all over town - on doors to businesses, on lamp posts, on tree trunks.
It will take a long time to get through this, for all of us, whether we have lost a home or not. The fire has impacted all of us.
But we will rise.
I am joining Sarah and León for Scene and Story.
The Redwood Credit Union, our local paper The Press Democrat and our State Senator Mike McGuire have set up the North Bay Fire Relief Fund where every donated dollar goes directly to aid relief efforts and help the victims of the fires.