Yesterday was the proverbial “day off”, which doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with taking a day off, but for a short while it was wonderful day. Up at 3:55 AM, away for an early appointment on the far side of Asheville, not knowing which fire/smoke/falling-rock detours I would encounter. A falling-rock detour occurs when, after a fire burns away brush and fallen logs, small rocks and boulders are free to tumble down the mountains onto the roads below. Anyway, that done, and a few other chores, I stopped by the hermitage. As always, I said the Angelus going up and coming back down and more, with the usual intention for the bishop and for priests.
The forest is soooo dry. The bugs have almost entirely disappeared. That has an effect on the whole ecosystem. I raked the leaves and fallen branches away from the hermitage but knew it was a lost cause should another fire among a myriad start up near the hermitage. The forest here is like a peat bog, even on the top of mountain ridges, as fire can spread by burning underground. The forest floor does remain soaking wet even after months with no rain, but it is already over six months since news stories about a severe drought in Western North Carolina were hitting the papers. It is dry deep down in the forest floor. You can only do what you can do. Raking done, I thought I might “fire” at a target I just happened to bring along:
Still better (after some practice and not from too far away), but not where I want to be. Still South and still mostly to the left. The South bit is trying too hard to fight any up-snap. I’m getting over that. These are tossed out pretty much as fast as I can pull the trigger.
And then I got a worrisome phone message from an old acquaintance for whom I no longer have a phone number and who clearly needs prayers. When my Android takes a message it won’t register the phone number. So, how to call back? How do people without hope survive? At any rate, I’m happy to have the hope afforded by Christ Jesus, who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen. I must say I was happy to have a long talk after that with the neighbors at the hermitage. They are such good people.