My parched throat croaks out complaints. The smoke blankets the coast and most of Vancouver Island. For several days, until yesterday, our area has been rated as 10+ (very unhealthy) on the Air Quality Index. Last night a little breeze brought the rating down to 2, going up to 4 today. Relief for dry, raspy throats, coughing lungs, aching heads, and itchy, red eyes.
As I researched other areas affected by the more than 560 fires in the province of British Columbia, I learned that some places have far more serious air quality issues than we do here on the coast. Knowing what we are suffering here, my heart goes out to the people who live in those hardest hit areas.
The whitish-gray part of this photo should show blue water of the bay and greenish hills beyond, but none of that is visible here. The smoke hangs in the nearby trees as if someone had a campfire going.
You can see the impact of a long, rainless summer on the grass in my front yard. It doesn’t even look yellowish brown as it should, but has a pinkish tinge from the red smoke-covered sun.
I’ve had my hedge trimmed and the trimmings are yet to be picked up. Just waiting for a slight reprieve from the heat. I feel very lucky to be able to think about mundane things like trimming a hedge when many hundreds of people in the province have had to evacuate their homes and manicuring their yard is the last thing on their mind.
During this summer’s fire season I have definitely learned to appreciate having a home. And having had to do without clean air and enough water, I know how important these things are — the essentials of life.