Oregon · USA
The eerie silhouettes of survivors of the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire haunt the rugged cliffs of the Columbia River Gorge on a cool autumn afternoon. They rise from the mist in symbolic reassurance that all was not lost in that nightmarish conflagration, but they also stand in direct defiance to any doubts about Mother Nature’s resiliency in the face of humankind’s destructive foibles.
Whether the latter can be said about humankind itself remains to be seen. And while the devolution of society we’ve witnessed over the past several years—a shameful epoch during which hateful, xenophobic, and misogynistic rhetoric have been given refuge under the guise of moral equivalency by a few fear-mongering shepherds and their half-cocked flock—might reasonably lead you to believe I’ve lost all hope about the future, I haven’t. There have been and will be collateral losses to come, but I believe retreating into dispassion, self-interest, and callousness is tantamount to submission, and that is exactly what cannot happen. Love, kindness, and fellowship will rise again.
We will prevail.