fire and rain
— 24 x 24 inches — mixed media
— copyright Dawn Chandler 2011

This has been the lost summer — one of smokey, smouldering anxiety.

The evening before my previous post, a downed aspen fell upon an electrical wire over near the town of Los Alamos, setting off an inferno that blazed like a cancer across the Jemez mountains, decimating over 150,000** acres of beautiful forests, arroyos, mesas and meadows. For a month our skies were filled with smoke, as we sat helpless watching our beautiful wildlands go up in flames.

The first significant rain in many months arrived at my house on the last day of June, though it did little to dissipate the fires the next county over. Still, when the clouds opened up with rain overhead, I wept. And in the morning, the birds and earth seemed to sing with abandon.

A couple more showers came and went after that, but July (at least at my house) wasn’t nearly as wet as it might have been. August though seems to be making up for that, and my little world here among the pinon foothills is rejoicing. The fires of Los Alamos and Santa Fe are now out, thanks to the incredible efforts of armies of fire fighters. May the healing begin.

**For my Philmont friends, try to imagine: That’s an area larger than all of Phiilmont.

Below, some details of Fire and Rain.