What do you say to someone who just lost their home? Is there something meaningful to contribute to people who hours before saw much of their town swept away by a wave of flame? Not just one house or two, but the town? The work of countless people over a century, to make their home and their livelihood and raise their families where Methow meets Columbia, is now an orange glow in a rearview mirror, a column of ash they’ll pick up on Seattle weather radar.
There are no real words of comfort. We can only say, truly, that we are thinking of you. We read the comments from the refugees as they take shelter and see names we know. There are friends and co-workers and many acquaintances of ours scattered through the Methow Valley. They are friends and friends of friends, people we chatted with in Carlton or Methow looking for a good fishing spot, someone we met at the bakery in Pateros one sweet morning, an orchardist we once quizzed about the condition of his crop or his labor supply or the spring weather. This morning we can picture their faces and wonder, is their house standing? Are they safe? Have they found shelter?