The fires that ravaged the North Bay have certainly left indelible memories on all of who lived through that experience. The rush of emotions, chaos, and lack of information fed more than just the fires. Where do we go? How much time do we have? How will I protect my family, home, pets?
Now, a month later, the fires are out. We have more facts, but many more questions than answers. Having not lost our home, a sense of loss, sadness, and even guilt remains. Sometimes, you just have to grin and bear it. Blindsiding by major life events happens, but how we choose to respond to crisis, is up to us.
There was a time when I coached youth rugby in Sonoma Valley. We used to tell the young Ruggers that, “it was OK if you made the mistake of dropping the ball.” Adult players know if you spend enough time in the game, dropping the ball will happen at some point. Do you move on with life pretending that you didn’t? Or do you go back, pick it up and try to make it better?
For me, it’s enough to have the bureaucrats point the finger at who’s to blame. Now is the time to start looking outward. It’s time to pick up the ball and make a difference right here, right now. The realization that Sonoma Valley is a very special place with an incredibly thoughtful and giving community isn’t a new idea, but it’s more now. Our community is our strength and the source of our pride.
I encourage you to get out into the community and meet your neighbors. Let down your emotional and physical fences to make a difference now! We can’t all be first responders, but we can find our own way to help. Where we go from here, is up to all of us!
Kevin Brown, Sonoma