You can’t get away from the photographs of the wildfires that have been decimating areas of Northern California. They’re everywhere; images of burning hills, billowing smoke, destroyed homes, frightened animals and exhausted firefighters. Although they are non-discriminatingly narrating California’s most tragic natural disaster to date, there’s a certain beauty to be found within them.
Beauty In Tragedy: Photos of The California Wildfires
Those who lost their loved ones, their homes, and their businesses may not see anything to appreciate in the myriad photos of rubble and ash, of dancing flames and charred remains. Understandable, as it’s most likely too soon for them.
Nevertheless several of the images captured by the numerous hardworking photojournalists exude a certain beauty. A poignancy rather than horror. These images of the fires and their aftermath convey the impending and the past. They telegraph loss and discovery and tell stories beyond what is visible.
“Tragedies will always be found in the things we love. And if we are not willing to see the beauty in losing something that means the world to us, then imagine how terrible it will be to live for them. We must always welcome the end of all things. For sometimes, knowing nothing lasts forever, is the only way we can learn to fall in love with all the moments and all the people that are meant to take our breath away.” – rm drake
“For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and it amazes us so, because it serenely disdains to destroy us. Every angel is terrible.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies
The above image (photographer unknown) of a masked statue in Sonoma’s Historic Square expresses the hope, gratitude and pride of the residents.
Our condolences to all those affected by the Northern California Wildfires and our endless gratitude to the brave firefighters and volunteers who continue to risk their own lives to save others.