Fires have come to define Lake County. Over the past few years, Lake County has been bombarded by the Valley Fire, the Rocky Fire, the Sulphur Fire, the Pawnee Fire, the Clayton Fire, The Jerusalem Fire, and, of course, the massive Mendocino Complex Fire. If you have lived in Lake County for four years, you’ve had to evacuate. That’s just how it is now. All of us know what it means to be evacuated, and far too many know what it means to lose a home in a raging fire.
But us Lake County folk are resilient. You can evacuate us, you can burn us, you can flood us, but this is our home. As soon as the crisis passes, we pick up the pieces and keep on living. This place is where we belong, and we’re sticking around.
That’s why we created The Lake County Bloom: to have a place where we get to see all the beauty of Lake County. We all know how special this county is, but sometimes it’s hard to see it after all the difficulties we’ve been through in the past few years. When all we see and hear is tragedy and crisis, it changes a person. But beauty and laughter fight hard against the trauma and disaster, and bring us together. The purpose of The Bloom is to create a space for Lake County residents to express themselves–a space where local artists, writers, poets, and musicians can show off their stuff; a space where community members can share their events, parties, music, and fundraisers; a space where anyone with a positive vision can share their dream. Our county is filled with creative people looking for a voice: The Bloom will provide that voice for them.
So feel free to enjoy The Bloom. And when you do, you support locals that you see and talk with every day. Together we can help Lake County rebuild. And when we do, it will be stronger than before, because it has been tried by fire.
This article first appeared in The Bloom on October 2, 2018.