Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Avalon Is Burning In the Dark

As the sytem that was once known as Andrea slips into semi-concousness drifting in the Gulfstream worth barely a mention in the news and a possible whole inch of rainfall predicted....

Avalon sits in the glow of a fire on Catalina Island on the other side of the world far away geographically but vividly in the news everywhere. Avalon, wow.. a name from my past. Amazes me, a blaze burning on that very beautiful Channel Island.

In this apocalyptic Spring where fires ravish the Hollywood Hills, endanger Griffith Park and smoke up most of the state of Florida ....the famous island of Catalina has been added to the list of places caught in the whirlwind of fire and weather of Spring 2007.

Dateline Avalon.... Catalina Island is on fire and burning in the night.

Does any name conjure up dreams more than Avalon?

When I lived in LA in the 80's you waited for a nice clear day, after a rare rainstorm to go up to the top of the Bonaventure Hotel, have a drink and look out across the water on it's ever spinning view of the world for a glimpse of Catalina Island... when it was Catalina's turn to come into view from the revolving bar... there she was in all her glory, across the Channel visible only in good weather, waiting in the distance ...rising up like a dream in the blue Pacific.

Avalon. I can't remember when there was a fire burning there in the past and there must have been... but I sure can't remember it. Living in Long Beach before LA always looking west to see if you could see Catalina from Signal Hill.

I could see it when in Laguna Beach with a friend a few years back, watching the sun set over the water and far off in the distance... Catalina.


What is this world coming to?

Named storms in May, wild fires in the Okefenokee Swamp, flooding misery in Missouri and now fire just miles from Avalon :(

How dare that fire cross over into Florida, don't we have enough fires burning down here already?

No Virginia.. it's not global warming as much as people tossing cigarettes recklessly, rivers flooding in Spring and who knows who set Catalina on fire...

California is burning again..the dry winds blow up and down the dried out chaparral covered mountain sides and the canyons burn. They burned in the early 80s didn't they? They burned in the 30s and the 50s and they burn again today. Yep, they did. Duarte burned, I don't forget easily. Once I drove into the Valley with a fire in the Hollywood Hills and the whole sky turned amber and gold and fiery red flames leaped about up on the hilltop. California burning is nothing new, Catalina is a little bizarre but this Spring has been bizarre. Maybe it's that drifting smoke caught up on the edge of Andrea floating down from Georgia that is making me remember things I would rather not think on and things I would rather forget. Memory floats in the ashes of a long ago fire.

One only wonders what Summer will bring..

Last weekend at Bais Menechem I stood with a friend by the fence watching the bonfire burn for Lag B'Omer. The fire department had a truck nearby, it was a very controlled bonfire in keeping with the holiday and beautiful to watch, beautiful to stare at with my pyromaniac friend who it seems enjoys staring at fires too from a safe distance. But, people can get burned in them badly, they need to be respected, shouldn't live up in the hills there when you can get wiped out in Long Beach if that Long Beach fault goes or the San Andreas shakes, rattles and rolls.. Oh gee.. just thought on the name, hope it doesn't do that this Spring.

I'll take hurricanes any time, she says as she realizes she can smell the scent of fire burning far away in Collier County.

Going to put on Kiss Country (what station did I listen to in California?) and not worry on old times not forgotten in California and not worry on Virginia and not worry on Andrea while I prepare for Shabbos.

Chicken, yellow rice garnished with green peas and red pimentos just the way my Grandma who lived in Tampa growing up taught me. All the usual suspects, wine, challah, whole wheat challah and some sort of cake if I get around to baking one. Israeli salads, avocado something. Chicken leftovers for Deborah to make chicken salad tomorrow and cholent in the crock pot.. my life has rhythms not just rhymes and Shabbos is tonight.

I'll light the shabbos candles, say a prayer for those caught in the fires, their lives turned upside down and their property in danger. I'll say a prayer for fireman to stay safe in the eye of their fire storms and I'll probably go to a kiddush tomorrow for a friend who had a baby.

Life goes on, night follows day, day follows night, day by day we move further away from the past and the faster the world turns the faster it brings the past right back to us.

Don't burn Avalon. Stay safe Virginia. Keep watching the tropics.. Barry can't be far away.


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