In Greek mythology, the legend of the Phoenix tells of a bird that is cyclically destroyed by fire, only to be born again, more powerful and vibrant than before. As wildfires burn violently in the hills, valleys, riverbeds and neighborhoods of San Diego, I envision the silhouette of the Phoenix, rising above the ash and ember, as a beacon of hope. We are the Phoenix.
We are the Phoenix, not only in that we will undoubtedly emerge from this fiery tribulation, but also in that we will emerge with a renewed sense of hope, gratitude, love, understanding, and strength. We are the Phoenix in that each time we go up in flames, amidst the sadness, terror, and ruin — together we are reborn.
Although the fires continue to burn, the Phoenix has already begun to rise from the flames. The Phoenix rises as dauntless emergency crews give themselves to protect and serve our community. The Phoenix rises as volunteers, journalists and local leaders ceaselessly and strategically advise and inform. The Phoenix rises as neighbors offer aid to neighbors. The Phoenix rises as friends and strangers alike open their hearts and homes. The Phoenix rises as animals are fostered and pets are reunited with their families. The Phoenix rises as parents hug their children a little tighter. The Phoenix rises as loved ones take an extra moment to say “I love you” before hanging up the phone. The Phoenix rises with each prayer and kind thought sent from across town, across the nation and across the world. The Phoenix rises as we give thanks for one another. And if you look closely, you can see the Phoenix rising at this very moment.
The Phoenix is an emblem of hope, endurance and revival. We are the Phoenix, ascending from the smoldering remains of catastrophe to regenerate — now stronger, wiser, more grateful, and more magnificent than ever before.
We are the Phoenix — and we will rise.