It is not often that I get homesick for the town I grew up in, Monterey, California. But this time of year there are things going on that I miss. The big one is the Feast of Lanterns, which is in the next town over, Pacific Grove. It is a hard thing to explain to someone who doesn't know about it. You sit packed in on the beach at Lovers Point all day watching bands and other entertainment on the pier, then as it gets dark they start the pageant. Oh I forgot to say that everyone on the beach has paper lanterns which they light once it gets dark. The sight of that is amazing. The pageant is about two star-crossed lovers, Koong-see who is a princess, and the poor scholar Chang. Everyone on the beach cheers when Chang appears and boos when Koong-see's father the Emperor tries to split apart the young lovers. In the end, the pair get away and turn into Monarch butterflies, and there's fireworks and Kate Smith sings God Bless America. I have been going to the Feast of Lanterns since I was a kid. Everyone has. I really miss it.
But the real reason that home has been on my mind a lot lately is that Big Sur is burning. Big Sur is a beautiful stretch of coastline about 25 miles south of Monterey. When I was a teenager, many days were spent in Big Sur playing in the river and smoking pot like the rest of the hippies that lived down there. It is a beautiful place. My sister in law Cesca owns a shop in Big Sur called Local Color. She had two hours to move all the art and stuff out of the store on Wednesday before they had to evacuate. I hope when this is all over that she has a store to come back to. The fire is also close to a place called Cachagua. I know a few people who live up there. Many of my brother's biker buddies live up there, they may have to evacuate soon. And even though I am way up in Washington now, this hits me where I live. The fire is 5% contained, and full containment is not expected until the end of July. So if you are the praying type, please pray for my little hometown and the safety of everyone in it. Thanks.