Over the past few days we have been surrounded by 9 fires. Different parts of our neighborhood have been evacuated two days in a row. If you turn on the TV you’re faced with Babylon burning, but looking out of the window there is only smoke in the distance. How did I monitor our safety? Facebook. My little chain of friends has been sharing information constantly. Offers of help, accommodation, news of evacuations, photos, real photos from really people nearby, not news crews at the edge of the inferno. This morning I posted a message to see how everyone is: we collectively shared our news. That, my friends, is what social media is supposed to be for. That, is true community.
I’m sorry if you’re addicted to cat videos or if you’re stalking your ex, but for me, and my merry band of sisterlybrotherlypeople, there is a sense of community that allows us near and far to be part of each other’s lives. When my friend in Atlanta sent me a message last night to offer shelter, it was because of this little community that she was able to share her thoughtfulness. Over the past few years I have seen my friends get married in Africa, survive breast cancer in America, have babies in London and yes, even die in Wales. I have been given a tool to be intricately connected to the ones I care about, and to foster and grow those relationships. I have been inspired by amazing feats of humankind, cried at injustice and been able to share my life as it unrolls, all because I can. And I like to. We are all in this together, this crazy pot of life, and it is our sharing, our spirit of Ubuntu, that makes us all the more rich.
And for those in the area, the best fire map: https://mapsengine.google.com/map/u/1/edit?mid=zwCcp9fuZHOw.k0nyColtCA7s&authuser=1