Gatlinburg, U.S., November 2016
Israel, November 2016
On November 22, 2016, a wave of wildfires spread across Israel and areas of Palestine. Cutting off the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway then spreading to Haifa, Israel’s largest city, 77 buildings were destroyed, 1600 people made homeless, and 75,000 had to eventually be evacuated. Thankfully no one was killed.
On November 23rd, 2016, a wildfire that started in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park spread into the Gatlinburg, Tennessee area, causing the deaths of 14 people. 1,684 structures were damaged or destroyed. 14,000 residents were forced to evacuate.
In Israel, the fire were blamed on terrorists. In the U.S., kids playing with matches. However, in both cases they were exacerbated by severe drought conditions and high winds.
Maybe, a coincidence. Whatever the political and environmental reasons, I see both occurrences, as always, through spiritual lenses. And fires are signs of a burning down of things to create new life; my symbol the Phoenix.
But, these are just words. What I remember most are the wonderful people I met, the places I went, the futures I saw. Next, I will write about future yet to come.
The 4th of July 1994 found us in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. We celebrated with the holiday crowds, then walked home. There was music, a laser light show, and Arune danced in the street with us. Driving to New York along the Blue Ridge Mountain Highway I looked up on impulse and there was a White Eagle in a tree, looking at us.
These fires have reminded me, with longing, how I was there for the Malibu fires, the Los Angeles earthquake, for the healing that I did. While we were there, the first white buffalo in a long while appeared in the U.S. and it is this, and the recent Water Protectors actions in North Dakota, that have me looking once again at the U.S. I would love to be, as I had so many journeys before. But..