If you follow world news, you may already know about the wildfires in Canada.
Alberta has been burning for weeks now. Current status can be found here.
There are also fires in five other provinces and one territory.
One of those provinces is mine. Last week, Nova Scotia became the location of two major fires, one of which is the largest in its history. That fire is located near Shelburne, at the southern tip of the province, and has resulted in the displacement of over 1,000 people. The other is near the heavily populated capital, Halifax, in the centre of the province, where over 16,000 people have had to leave their homes.
Over 200 structures have burned, including more than 150 family homes. Many of the evacuees had to leave immediately because the fire was so close. They had no time to take anything with them.
How stressful that would be. And for those whose homes burned to ash, how stressful that would be also. Even those who were put on alert that they could be evacuated on short notice must be stressed. My son lives on the edge of the evacuation zone, and was one of that group.
Fortunately, no lives have been lost.
And tonight - finally, finally, finally - the rain has started. It's hardly more than a sprinkle so far, but the forecast predicts rain or showers and cool temperatures for the next week.
I've never been so grateful to see a week of rain in the forecast.
And I am beyond grateful for the efforts of the firefighters and other emergency personnel who have worked so hard to save lives, homes, and livelihoods, in some cases doing so while their own homes burned down. Nova Scotian firefighters have been, or soon will be, joined by others from across Canada, from the U.S., Costa Rica, Australia, and New Zealand. I'm so thankful for international help.
My heart is with those who have lost everything except their lives, those who have had to leave their homes not knowing if they will lose everything or not, and those in areas adjacent to the evacuation zone who have spent the last week in a state of heightened adrenaline in case they had to leave suddenly. I am also so sad for the wildlife which has undoubtedly been killed, maimed, and displaced.
Even after the current fires are under control, there will be a lot of work to be done to extinguish them. Last fall's hurricane Fiona, which I wrote about here, left so much deadwood from downed trees all across our heavily forested province. It has had eight months to dry out, and, in an unusually dry spring, it has become perfect tinder for fires.
I know we are far from the only place to suffer wildfires. They are becoming more and more common around the world due to climate change. It's simply extra-sobering when they hit close to home.
And now, for your listening enjoyment, the song you may have thought I was referencing in the title.
Because we need to keep on moving forward, and one way to do so is finding the beauty in life (thank you, my dear friend, Elephant's Child, for that wisdom).
And music is one of the beautiful things in life. Even when it's kind of sad music.