|9/5/2017 12:00:00 PM|
The best of us
It's been a rough August in Sisters. Smoke from wildfires as far away as Canada was already impacting the area when the Milli Fire broke out and turned into a 26,000-acre conflagration. The smoke has been terrible. The effects of the fire have kicked people out their homes for days and disrupted business during the height of the busy season. The health impacts range from irritating to downright dangerous. People's nerves have frayed.
And yet we can all be grateful that we're not in Houston, which is enduring biblical tribulations.
What we've seen both here and in Houston in the midst of all these trials is the best of us. We are constantly surprised and amazed at the power of the human spirit to overcome and set aside petty differences and pull together in times of need.
In Sisters, people have opened their homes to evacuees and stranded hikers, provided shelter for displaced pets, and fed firefighters, while in Houston ordinary citizens are taking extraordinary measures to help strangers, without question and without hesitation.
It's so easy to get caught up in the sturm and drang of the big, noisy world and forget who we really are. We're sold false notions of identity, where whom we vote for president defines who we are, where disdaining just the right people in just the right way, using just the right words becomes a litmus test for virtue.
Ultimately, though, we are defined by what we do. And when push comes to shove, when we're called upon to step up and act, what we do shows that what we are is pretty damn impressive.
The smoke will dissipate in Sisters and the flood waters will recede in Houston. But maybe we can hold onto a little of the spirit we've all partaken of this August of 2017 and carry it as we return to the day-to-day.
It's the best of us.
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