I’ve often written about ”home” for the Huckleberry Press. My section in the paper is even called “The Huckleberry ‘Home’”. I’ve written that home is not so much a place as it is the people that create the feeling of home. But after the fires destroyed, with very little warning, the town of Malden; as they ripped through Omak and Deep Creek and Davenport and the Palouse; as I’ve seen the photographic account of the devastation of towns and communities throughout the West, my heart breaks as I think about those who have lost their homes. I got a new perspective on home as I looked over a picture of a husband and wife embraced at the foundation of their house that burned to the ground and of the picture of a mom sobbing into her grown son’s arms standing in the ashen remains of their community. And this is what I uncovered… Home is the place where our memories are collected. It’s more than a structure, it’s the place our hearts come to rest; where we look for love and acceptance; where photos document our history; where portraits of loved ones are kept; where we can revisit our joys, our celebrations and our heartaches. It is where all the items we collect are housed that make home, the place we call “home”.
I sat to write a recipe to share with you, and I will do that, but what I really wanted to share in and sit with, is our humanity, our longing for home and our compassion for those whose lives have been upended in this tragedy. I expect over the next few weeks we will begin to hear more from local agencies, churches, and nonprofits about what is needed to support families in the process of building their lives back up. In the meantime as I look for what there is for me to do, I go to prayer. Often when I don’t know what to pray, I remember the Lord’s Prayer, specifically the line “Give us this day our daily bread”. In the prayer, with that phrase, is our ask. Asking that our family and all families who are suffering and for all the people who are uncertain about what’s to come have their daily needs met. It’s a call for our livelihoods, for the support in the most basic ways, it’s asking that we are provided for even in the most troubling of circumstances as in the most settling of time. I ask, how best can we walk and work with, and love and listen to and give support to our neighbors however they need it, however it looks for each of them? How best can we support the people of our community and surrounding areas? The Huckleberry Press asks that if you see anything that you would like to share about community support or individual needs to please share it with us on our social media pages so we can help spread the word or by reaching out via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of deadline for the paper I’ve found the following sites asking for support: You can donate at the local level to the Red Cross or to their Western Wildfire Relief by visiting www.redcross.org/donate Also, GoFundMe.com has a number of personal fundraisers for people who have lost their homes in the fires that have devastated our area https://www.gofundme.com/c/act/washington-fires#donate