A few thoughts on the California Wildfires

Yesterday was simchos Torah, the last of the Jewish High Holidays. Although the holidays are a busy time, they are also a time for introspection, for resetting our inner compass. I’d like to share some of these thoughts with our group.

I am sure most of you have heard about the wildfires sweeping through Northern California destroying entire neighborhoods. As of tonight, Saturday night, October 14, close to 6,000 structures – homes, businesses, schools, hotels, factories – were reduced to ash. Thirty-six confirmed fatalities. Over five hundred people missing, and at this point, all that can be done is to try to slow the monster that is devouring everything in its path.

Many of the who survived the inferno lost all their earthly possessions, a lifetime of hard work and dreams gone up in a puff of smoke. Yet, despite their deep pain, I keep hearing the words, “We lost everything, but the main thing is that we have each other. We have life.”

What a lesson for us, to remain focused on those things that are really important in life. To stop sweating the small stuff.   Sometimes, I spend so much time, and energy, on making sure my floors shine, or baking a cake (when it’s so easy to pick one up at the bakery), that I end up a physical wreck, lacking energy, in complete“off” mode.  Living with  Parkinson, I need to learn how to prioritize, to use my very limited energy for those things that are truly important. I know I need to pace myself, but I keep on forgetting.  It’s not easy, but then again, is anything worthwhile ever easy?