In light of the devastating fires in Maui, this timely article from contributor Nancy Marnett reminds us about nature's impermanence.

My husband and I just spent a relaxing two weeks on the West Coast, visiting family and friends, tasting wines and driving for fun. The first week we followed the coastline, the road hugging the cliff’s edge, and then shooting off inland thru little charming towns. The second week we wound our way up hills and down valleys, thru the deep California forest. We were surrounded by nature and all of its glory and mystery!

The Pacific Ocean was so serene. It was smooth as glass as far as the eye could see. The occasional white cap appeared as a wave slid by a coastal rock column formation. But most days the salty water just hugged the sea sculptures, quietly and peacefully.

The trees in the forest stood like tall soldiers at attention. The magnificent redwood groves are homes to these beautiful giants that form a canopy so thick, there is no undergrowth able to survive. Thankfully we were driving on a section near the coast where the redwoods have been protected from logging. There were evergreens reaching for the heavens, their tops hidden from the naked eye whether walking on the forest floor or driving thru the tree awning tunnels. Outside the redwood forests, the eucalyptus with their shaggy hairdo, filled the air with their woody, minty fragrance.

As we walked the beach and pathways surrounding tide pools, there were signs of warnings; Tsunami Hazard Zone, Strong Current, Riptide, Shark Zone, No Cliff Diving, all reminders of the perilous, unpredictable and uncertainty of the ocean.

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