The sun is doing its best to shine on San Diego this morning. But it is the yellow-orange hue mixed with gray ash that is dawn today. It is day two of smoke and Mother Nature's wrath. The wind has settled some and more help is on the way.
For the past 24 hours I have seen dancing flames rip through entire neighborhoods. I have listened to reporters tirelessly recount the events moment by moment until they can barely speak from exhaustion. I have seen the silhouettes of bravery, those fighting the fire and putting their lives on the line for the safety of others. I have seen hundreds of thousands of people, small children, the sick and elderly, strewn throughout stadiums, school and fairgrounds. I have seen the night sky littered with bright red embers and unrelenting walls of flames.
But what I have not seen are a people divided. There has been no judgment or color of skin. No sexual orientation or religion better than an other. In the place of prejudice, doctrine and status is compassion. Our eyes are all stinging with the same devastation. Our hearts are all broken from the same wrenching sights of those without homes. Our skin, hair and clothes all wreak with the stench of burning loss. What I see is one people coming together, holding one another up, giving of themselves and their resources, gifting blankets and food, diapers and teddy bears.
Is this what it takes to act as one? Is having 300,000 people evacuated; more than 1,000 structures burned to the ground; lives lost and limbs burned what it takes for us to get it?
Our vision as we look out together into this vast lens of change is the same. That vision is one of hope for all of humanity. That vision is that someday we will all see that those things that make us as individuals different, the things we once judged and mocked in our ignorance are the same things that may someday come to take your hand as you prepare to sleep where football players play and horses race.
It just may be that what you see in the face of a stranger whose race nor color nor creed matter is that we really are all the same as you lay in a stadium filled with despair because your home has been swept away by flames.
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