hello friends. a brief stint at home and then i scooted back up the coast to santa babs.
it’s been shocking to see the charred hillsides and mountains behind the towns of carpinteria, montecito, and SB. the now infamous thomas fire, roared through these canyons, over the mountains, and valleys and burned over a thousand homes and nearly 280 thousand acres of land. biggest wildfire in california’s recorded history. the seaside town of ventura was hit especially hard – many hundreds of homes lost. i could plainly see scorched land and burned palm trees nearly to the ocean as i drove northwest on hwy 101.
here in santa barbara, i’m staying high up in mission canyon which escaped the fire by a few miles. everyone was evacuated. i almost didn’t come, but the woman i’m renting a little studio from insisted that it was safe, so i went ahead with the plans i’d made back in october.
the fire is 89% contained (and no danger whatsoever of expanding) with about 700 firefighters still working the fire. this is down from over 8000 who were doing battle a couple of weeks ago with an inferno that was fed by bone dry brush and gale force winds.
all over town there are handmade signs to the brave firefighters who saved these communities. i’ve seen messages written in christmas lights on walls and fences, hanging from roofs, taped to light posts, erected in front yards, painted on cardboard. it’s a moving thing to see. so many people so grateful that they didn’t lose their homes.
and here i am, thinking about the new year. writing, reading, painting, napping, walking, enjoying the views from this beautiful canyon that was spared.
hope you’re enjoying these last days of december by yourself or with family. send me a postcard. let me know how you are. xo