As I watch portions of my childhood home burn, I cannot think of words to describe my sorrow. It is sad, unfair, unthinkable. It is happening whether I want to believe it or not.

I am watching from a short distance – close enough to see it on the news, too far away to be of any real help. Every news update is a knife to the heart: over 70 homes burned, 80, 92. There is nothing I can do or say now, while the fire rages. But when flames finally, finally die, I will find a way to help, and I will act.

Dear friends in Black Forest, you are in my thoughts. Structures may burn, but our memories are precious and present.

20 feet from the church I grew up in.

20 feet from the church I grew up in.